Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey acknowledge that many Americans have favored depictions of an ethnically white Christ yet today doubt the veracity of the results. How could a Jewish man in the Holy Land come to look Nordic? In order to explain this skepticism and a number of related issues, the authors analyze the history of color in visualizing Jesus. The efficient and engaging narrative that results encompasses a wide range of imagery in the United States, spanning from the initial arrival of Europeans to the presidency of Barack Obama. The book has much to offer to historians of art and visual culture, whose work on representations of Christ has traditionally given preference to European or Catholic developments instead. By studying the United States and its largely Protestant traditions, Blum and Harvey unveil how these images evolved in a multiethnic New World society. Because the country came to export the ensuing imagery through the channels of mass media, this story is of international consequence. The authors characterize an early America that will likely seem at once familiar and strange to most readers. The arrival of sacred images with French and Spanish Catholics and of iconoclastic views with
Religion and the Arts – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2014
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