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Grant number: FT-260316-18

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Amy K. Anderson
West Chester University (West Chester, PA 19383-0001)

Windows to Heaven: The Rhetorical Legacy of Byzantine Icons

Research and writing of a book on visual rhetoric and the status of icons in the 8th- and 9th-century Eastern Orthodox Church.

During the eighth and ninth centuries, the Byzantine Empire was rocked by an economic, religious, and political conflict known as Byzantine Iconoclasm. At the center of the conflict was the question of whether or not images could convey spiritual teachings in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church. The debate was settled in 843 when images were decreed equal to texts in their ability to convey religious ideas. Byzantine Iconoclasm is unique because, unlike Western Protestant-motivated iconoclasms, iconophile theology went beyond religious arguments and instead theorized the properties of texts and images. Despite Byzantine Iconoclasm’s rich insights into modality, the debate has gone largely unstudied by Western rhetoric scholars. The monograph Windows to Heaven: The Rhetorical Legacy of Byzantine Icons corrects this oversight by reframing the Iconoclasm debate as a discussion about multimodality and asking what Byzantine religious icons reveal about contemporary ways of seeing.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Composition and Rhetoric

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018