Augsburg Fortress

Face to Face: Portraits of the Divine in Early Christianity

Face to Face: Portraits of the Divine in Early Christianity

Examining how God and eventually Christ are portrayed in early Christian art, Jensen explores questions of the relationship between art and theology, conflicts over idolatry and iconography, and how the Christological controversies affected the portrayals of Christ. Since much of this art comes from ancient Rome, she places her analysis in the context of the history of Roman portraiture. One hundred photographs enhance the discussion.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800636784
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 7 x 10
  • Pages 256
  • Publication Date November 23, 2004


"This is a brilliant book of great visual and intellectual significance. The early church wrestled with the problems of religious imagery. In this work of impressive scholarship, all the nuances of that struggle, its fears, hesitations, and scruples are explained with sensitivity and skill. Jensen takes us from the first rare depictions of biblical narrative on to the various portrayals of an imagined Christ and his close followers. She makes us vividly aware of the doubts and devotional needs of those to whom these images were of immense theological import."
— Sister Wendy Beckett, author and art critic

"This book serves four groups of readers well: those who hunger for a glimpse into the early Christian visual imagination, those who wish to understand the long background to the Byzantine Iconoclastic Controversy, those with an interest in the history of Christian art, and finally, and perhaps most especially, those who mull over the roots of the tensions in our own world that are related to religiously and psychologically charged depictions of the sacred."
— Roberta Bondi, Professor of Church History, Candler School of Theology