The Mind's Eye
Art and Theological Argument in the Middle Ages
Edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger & Anne-Marie Bouché

Editions

The Mind's Eye focuses on the relationships among art, theology, exegesis, and literature--issues long central to the study of medieval art, yet ripe for reconsideration. Essays by leading scholars from many fields examine the illustration of theological commentaries, the use of images to expound or disseminate doctrine, the role of images within theological discourse, the development of doctrine in response to images, and the place of vision and the visual in theological thought.

At issue are the ways in which theologians responded to the images that we call art and in which images entered into dialogue with theological discourse. In what ways could medieval art be construed as argumentative in structure as well as in function? Are any of the modes of representation in medieval art analogous to those found in texts? In what ways did images function as vehicles, not merely vessels, of meaning and signification? To what extent can exegesis and other genres of theological discourse shed light on the form, as well as the content and function, of medieval images? These are only some of the challenging questions posed by this unprecedented and interdisciplinary collection, which provides a historical framework within which to reconsider the relationship between seeing and thinking, perception and the imagination in the Middle Ages.

First published in 2005.

Jeffrey F. Hamburger is Professor in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University. His books include St. John the Divine: The Deified Evangelist in Medieval Art and Theology and The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany. Anne-Marie Bouché is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University.