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Title: An investigation of the theological questions raised by twentieth-century works of art which make use of the iconography of the crucifixion
Author: Anderson, Keith Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 3907
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2014
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This research developed from an observation that the iconography of the crucifixion was being used by artists in the twentieth century for purposes beyond its usage in earlier centuries. As an active member of a Christian Community this appeared to have implications for a Christian understanding of the theological significance of the crucifixion of Jesus and also its significance in the wider culture of twentieth century Britain. The foundation of this thesis is a Scholarly Edition of sixty works of art, produced from 1913 to 2000, by artists based in Great Britain. They are united by a common use of the iconography of the crucifixion. There is no other collection comparable to the Scholarly Edition. As an original contribution to learning the collection is innovative in bringing together the works of art as a resource for theological reflection. The commentary describes the methodology used in collecting and analysing the works including an introduction to three areas relating theology and art. The analyses of individual works indicate that in the twentieth century the theology implicit in the works moved away from a teleological emphasis of Jesus as Saviour of the World, found in pre-seventeenth century works, to a diverse and diffuse approach to theology. Within this diversity, the works of art collected in the Scholarly Edition indicate that Christians and non-Christians during this period used it for a wider range of purposes than has been thus far reported. In the final chapter of the Commentary it is proposed that in the twentieth century the symbolic meaning of the iconography changed from centring on a Christian teleological understanding as Christ as Saviour to a non-religious personification of humanity as alienated, innocent and suffering, whose prototype is the crucified Jesus Christ. Finally, this change was related to radical Anglican theological proposals made during the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available