Vol. 16 No. 2 (2023): Towards a new “aesthetics of war”? Is Polemos still father of all things?

The secularizing nature of Christian choice for images

Graziano Lingua
Università degli Studi di Torino

Published 2024-02-06


  • Christian image,
  • secularization,
  • Byzantine icons,
  • kenosis

How to Cite

Lingua, G. (2024). The secularizing nature of Christian choice for images. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 16(2), 91–98. https://doi.org/10.36253/Aisthesis-14707


Daniele Guastini’s book Immagini cristiane e cultura antica is one of the most significant contributions to the current debate on the role of Christian images. The choice of images made by Christianity since the third century – this is the main thesis of the work – represents one of the generative moments of the long-lasting process of secularization that came to characterize Western culture. This essay aims to discuss this thesis, contextualizing it both from a theological point of view and in relation to its philosophical and cultural-historical significance. I then dwell on two questions more directly related to the interpretation of the Christian image in the first millennium: the relationship that the iconographic practice of the Christian origins has with the Jewish and pagan context, and the role that the interpretation of the “Byzantine turn” plays in the overall structure of the Guastini’s book.


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