In the Name of the Image

Figurative Representation in Islamic and Christian Cultures

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In the Name of the Image
Figurative Representation in Islamic and Christian Cultures

Ed. Axel Langer, Museum Rietberg, text(s) by Doris Behrens Abouseif, Dieter Blume, Christophe Erismann, Finbarr Barry Flood, Beate Fricke, Christiane Gruber, Tobias Heinzelmann, Ahmad Milad Karimi, Axel Langer, Hans Georg Majer, René Schurte, Daniel Spanke, Friedericke Weis, graphic design by Claudio Barandun


2022. 504 pp., 214 ills.

hardcover with dust jacket

16.00 x 24.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4733-2

Religious and Secular Visual Spheres

In the Name of the Image primarily attempts to direct attention to the history of both Islamic and Christian cultures, tracing and analyzing their ways of dealing with images. Even though both Christianity and Islam are familiar with religious bans on images, pictures, portraits, and other works of pictorial art can still be found in both cultural areas. Still, the prohibition of images is mainly associated with Islam, while the question of why, for example, statues of Mary are worshipped in (Catholic) churches, is rarely posed. What was the function of the image and what sort of meaning did it have? Whom did the image address, and what message did it send? What role did theology play in this, and what role was assigned to secular ruling powers? It turns out that there are not only diff erences between the two cultures, but unexpected similarities as well. Ultimately, this is a story that fl uctuates between iconophilism and iconophobia, between faith in images and criticism of them.

Museum Rietberg, Zurich
February 3–May 22, 2022

German Edition

  • Im Namen des Bildes

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