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Paul's Visual PietyThe Metamorphosis of the Beholder$
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J. M. F. Heath

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664146

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664146.001.0001

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Greco-Roman Visual Practices

Greco-Roman Visual Practices

(p.71) III Greco-Roman Visual Practices
Paul's Visual Piety

J. M. F. Heath

Oxford University Press

To prepare for the more detailed focus on Paul in Part Three, this and the following chapter sketch visual cultures amidst which Paul preached, thought, and lived. A complete account of ‘Greco-Roman visual practices’ would be neither practicable nor desirable; the sources discussed here are selected with a view to their social diversity, prominence in the extant record, relevance to visuality, and significance in the history of scholarship on Paul. Firstly, the materialist philosophical turn is examined, underscoring its new emphasis on visuality and how this cultivated socially, personally, and religiously transformative modes of viewing. Then the adaptation of philosophical discourse in rhetorical and artistic theory is explored, showing how these too emphasize the constructive and sustaining power of visual assumptions and habits in relationships to God and neighbour. Finally, the role of scopic regimes in the transformation of the political and religious culture under Augustus is examined.

Keywords:   enargeia, phantasia, common conceptions, koinai ennoiai, Homoiōsis Theoi, reality, metamorphosis

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