» Vortrag zu Hybridisierungsprozessen in visueller Kultur

Prof. Dr. Ute Verstegen

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
LS Christliche Archäologie
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Philipps-Universität Marburg
Christliche Archäologie
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Vortrag zu Hybridisierungsprozessen in visueller Kultur 


Am 22.9.2009 habe ich auf Einladung von Philipp Stockhammer ('Research Area D' des Exzellenzclusters "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows") im Rahmen des Workshops "Conceptualizing Cultural Hybridization: A Transdisciplinary Approach" an der Universität Heidelberg einen Vortrag gehalten zum Thema: " Adjusting the image - Processes of hybridization in visual culture. Perspectives from Early Christian and Byzantine Archaeology."


"Since the emergence of a Christian visual culture out of the substrate of antique pagan imagery in the 3rd century AD, the relationship between iconoclastic and iconophile views has oscillated in Christianity. The basis of the criticism against imagery was the ban imposed on images in the Old Testament in Ex 20 and Dtn 4-5, which was interpreted, depending on exegetical strictness, either as a strict ban on the production of images of God or as one on any representation of animated creatures, sometimes only concerning the manufacturing techniques of three-dimensional cult statues, but sometimes even  any two-dimensional representation. In the 8th century the confrontation between the opposing inner-Christian positions culminated in the Byzantine Iconoclastic Controversy. The paper provides a case study of processes in the 8th century which took place in the Syro-Palestinian region during the clash of Christian and Muslim Arab visual cultures. Archaeological investigations of church interiors in this area have documented a trend towards geometrical motifs on the one hand, but on the other hand deliberate destruction of older figural representations:  mosaic tesserae were removed from relevant places in floor mosaics and newly laid out in abstract or floral motifs on the very spot. These discoveries raise the questions of who are the actors and what are the backgrounds of these iconophobic acts."