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Icons of American Protestantism

Icons of American Protestantism

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About the Book

Although American Protestants often claim that they are opposed to the use of devotional images in their religious life, they in fact draw on a vast body of religious icons to disseminate confessional views, to teach, and to celebrate birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, and sacred holidays. This fascinating book focuses on the production, marketing, and reception of one such set of religious illustrations, the art of Warner Sallman (1892-1968), whose 1940 Head of Christ has been reproduced an estimated five hundred million times.

Five scholars--three art historians, a church historian, and a historian of material culture--investigate various aspects of Sallman's career and art, in the process revealing much about the role of imagery in the everyday devotional life of American Protestants since the 1940s. The chapters examine Sallman's work in terms of the visual sources, media, and forms of use that shaped its making; its mass production, marketing, and distribution by publishers and vendors; and the commercial nature of Sallman's training and his work as an illustrator. Other chapters explore the reception of his religious imagery among those who admired it and saw in it a vision of the world as they would have it exist; the religious and theological context of conservative American Protestantism in which the imagery flourished; and its critical reception among liberal Protestant intelligentsia who despised Sallman's work and what it represented in popular Christianity. By placing Sallman's art in theological, ecclesiastical, and aesthetic perspective, the book sheds light on the evolving shape of twentieth-century American evangelicalism and its influence on modern American culture.
About the Author: David Morgan is assistant professor and department chair of art at Valparaiso University.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780300063424
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publisher Imprint: Yale University Press
  • Height: 243 mm
  • No of Pages: 280
  • Series Title: English
  • Weight: 722 gr
  • ISBN-10: 0300063423
  • Publisher Date: 27 Mar 1996
  • Binding: Hardback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 25 mm
  • Width: 164 mm

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