Attacking Medieval Religious Practice
Iconoclasm is symbolic of expressing disregard or challenge to that which is signified. The rejection of visible symbols, their violent removal, is a necessary component to movements or ideas of reform. In the Middle Ages, iconoclasm, or the desecration of images, was often illegal, technically speaking, and its commission was considered blasphemous or sacrilegious. This was certainly the case in late medieval Bohemia and especially in relation to relics. Expressions of discontent, indicative of religious crisis, might be prompted by social grievances or theological disagreement. Various forms of “image breaking” occurred in late medieval Bohemia, and this chapter explores the nature of that violence and the role Jerome played in those episodes. The acts attributed to Jerome were inspired by theological conviction and a logical approach to criticizing religious practice. His stance frequently placed him at odds with monastic culture.
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