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Understanding Early Christian Art [Kindle Edition]

Robin Margaret Jensen
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 0415204542
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0415204545
  • Edition: 1
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Book Description

Understanding Early Christian Art is designed for students of both religion and of art history. It makes the critical tools of art historians accessible to students of religion, to help them understand better the visual representations of Christianity. It will also aid art historians in comprehending the complex theology, history and context of Christian art. This interdisciplinary and boundary-breaking approach will enable students in several fields to further their understanding and knowledge of the art of the early Christian era. Understanding Early Christian Art contains over fifty images with parallel text.

Editorial Reviews


[M]anageable and accessible...Understanding Early Christian Art is the obvious choice of a textbook in early Christian art and is ideal as supplementary reading for courses in early Christian history..
Journal of Early Christian Studies, March 2002

Understanding Early Christian Art is the best available book on the subject. Jensen's ability to 'touch every base' is commendable and remarkable..
Currents in Theology and Mission, February 2002

Understanding Early Christian Art is an excellent place to start in rediscovering the rich use of symbol by the early Christian church.
[Jensen] not only introduces the reader to numerous extant art objects of the early church, but also masterfully guides the reader through an informative and rich analysis of the various interpretive traditions within art history of early Christian art.This book offers the reader a helpful and intriguing study of early Christian art. It will be of interest to church historians, archeaologists, and those who are interested in the interaction of Christian faith and the arts.
–Steve W. Lemke, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, November 2002

...she presents all the issues in an unbiased manner snd reveals an up-to-date knowledge of theology, history, art history, and scriptoral studies. It is a masterful feat. The book belongs on the shelf of every seminarian and student of theology.
Theological Studies

Jensen discusses... questions and others in an orderly, careful, and clear manner... Jensen is careful to give all plausible scholarly opinions an honest hearing but is not afraid to express her own judgement.
–Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal

About the Author

Robin Margaret Jensen is Associate Professor of the History of Christianity at Andover Newton Theological School.

Product Details

  • File Size: 29196 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1135951705
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CDUUI98
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the heart of the matter January 6, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an EXCELLENT resource on Early Christian Art. VERY meaty and easy to understand. I hope by time i graduate i write half as well!
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20 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New Here June 16, 2009
Robin Jensen has received a fair amount of press for her books, but I find nothing particularly new in her presentations. She clings resolutely to the outworn dichotomies of naturlism/realism, narrative/non-narrative, and the notion of "portraiture." She also continues to use theology in the "snippet" sense, rather than exploring the art itself as theology and trying to explain its relationship with written theological texts (either by region, theologian, liturgical texts, etc.). Her sole contribution in this area is the well-worn trajectory of iconic versus aniconic statements in various Christian theologians, one that has already been well-documented and needs no further treatment.

Given her upbringing in an aniconic Protestant tradition, I find it odd that her current academic title is "Luce Chancellor's Professor of the History of Christian Worship and Art," particularly when she is responsible for presenting the liturgical history of Early Christianity. Liturgy is not simply an adjunct to imagery. Liturgy is the fitting worship of God that is the obligation of all creation. Therefore, it is cosmic. Therefore, understanding early Christian art, at least a large part of it, necessitates understanding Christian (i.e., Catholic) liturgy and I don't think Jensen really "gets" a priestly, sacrificial, sacramental worldview and that is absolute de rigueur if one wants to explain liturgy and early Christian art.

Jensen may know all the monuments of early Christian art, but she doesn't really know how to explain them in a meaningful way. She would have done better to have read some ressourcement theology as preparation for writing her book.
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