Writing the Holy Image: The Relationship between Hagiography and Iconography

By Eric Brook.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Christian hagiography and iconography had their inception at the same time during Late Antiquity, and they developed with much the same representational dynamic in common. The writing of hagiography was for the purpose of perpetuating the historical memory of people by representing their life as holy. Iconography had much the same interest, except the “writing” of this image (which is literally what iconography means) was pictorial in its representation. Hagiography’s ineluctable association with iconography may give us an impetus in our contemporary context for considering its residual impact upon the West’s historically-effected consciousness, particularly in the way that the image of holiness is portrayed in both of these mediums of writing.

Keywords: Hagiography, Iconography, Image, Holy, Representation

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 595.939KB).

Dr. Eric Brook

Associate Professor of World History and Humanities, History and Government, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA, USA

My broad intellectual interests center in looking at the history of humanistic activity, both East and West, which is also reflected in my professional position. Most of my past research has looked at the nature of historical and aesthetic representation. My area of academic emphasis is in ancient intellectual and cultural history. My most current research deals with the philosopher Plato's views on eros in relation to his metaphysics of likeness and image.