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God and Enchantment of PlaceReclaiming Human Experience$
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David Brown

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199271984.001.0001

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The Place of Encounter

The Place of Encounter

Icons of Transcendence and Renaissance Immanence

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 The Place of Encounter
Source:
God and Enchantment of Place
Author(s):

David Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199271984.003.0003

One major tension in understanding how God is experienced through the material, is whether it is seen as a matter of God drawing us into another reality (transcendence) or himself invading ours (immanence). Because Renaissance immanence is now so commonly attacked as most superficially religious, an extended defence is offered. By contrast, the transcendence of icons is often accepted uncritically in the West, and so here an extended critique is given. In addition the influence of Platonism on both Orthodoxy and the Renaissance is explored in some detail, to illustrate how the same system can pull in quite different directions. The conclusion is that, where only one aspect is asserted, there tend to be compensatory pulls elsewhere (e.g. through accompanying architecture or ritual).

Keywords:   icons, Renaissance painting, transcendence, immanence, Platonism, Orthodoxy

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