2006 Questions

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2005 Questions

(From your bibliography) 'To avoid duplication of material, candidates who submit essays on question 3 may not submit essays on question 5 (d), candidates who submit essays on question 6 may not submit essays on question 5 (c ), and candidates who submit essays on question 7 may not submit essays on Question 5 (b). All candidates are encouraged to offer one essay involving close reading of an image or images (ie one of your essays should be on a topic chosen from questions 2, 5, 6, or 7).'

1. What was at stake for Christianity in the Iconoclastic controversy?

2. “The Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us.” Discuss the visual expression of this in any two works of art.

3. How would you account for the recurrence in Christian culture of the notion that some images are holier than others?

4. Discuss the relationship between the cult of holy images and either
(a) the cult of relics
or (b) the sacrament of the Eucharist.

5. Write a theological commentary on one of the following:
(b) A specified crucifix
(c) a specified image of the Virgin and Child
(d) Either The Mandelion or the Veronica
(e) The Mosaic of the Transfiguration, St Catherine’s monastery, Sinai.
(f) The Apse Mosaic in San Clemente, Rome
(g) The Wilton Diptych
(h) Van Eyck’s The Adoration of the Lamb
(i) Caravaggio’s “Madonna dei Pellegrini” (S. Agostino, Rome)
(j) Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World”
(k) Stanley Spencer’s “Resurrection, Cookham”
(j) Salvador Dali Vision of St John of the Cross

6. “In its historical priority and its theological centrality, the image of the Virgin and Child has a fair claim to be considered the defining Christian image”. Discuss.

7. “The history of the Crucifix is the history of Christian soteriology”. Discuss.

8. Discuss the theological factors at work in the evolution of either
(a) the Byzantine Iconostasis
or (b) the Western altarpiece

9. “Iconoclasm is the strongest possible affirmation of the power of the visual”. Discuss.

10. Why did the Reformation not result in the consistent protestant repudiation of the holy image?

11. Could there be a coherent Christian rationale for the claim that “pictures speak louder than words”?

12. “Twenty-first century people can no longer inhabit the religious iconography of the Christian past”. Discuss.

13. Can non-believers produce good religious art?

14. Are vulgarity and triteness relevant considerations in assessing the religious value of devotional art?