Medium and Mystery: Byzantine Iconography in Light of the Media Theory of Marshall McLuhan

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Title: Medium and Mystery: Byzantine Iconography in Light of the Media Theory of Marshall McLuhan
Authors: St. Germain, Louise
Date: 2020-11-30
Abstract: This thesis endeavours to answer, “What does it mean for something to be an icon?” Though this is not a new question, it attempts a unique approach by using media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s four laws of media, as well as his associated tetrad method of organizing the dynamic effects of a medium, as a framework in the analysis. The first part of the thesis reviews contributions from various fields that will inform the inquiry: Orthodox theology (past and present), especially with respect to iconoclasm and iconicity; phenomenology and its study of the experience of art and icons; art theory, including the effect of perspective in art; and media theory, which is the domain of McLuhan as mentioned above. The second part of this thesis proposes an original tetrad for iconography, derived from McLuhan’s existing tetrad for Cubist art and from the theology of iconography. The new tetrad elucidates iconography’s effects on observers, its role in veneration and worship, and its sensitivity to factors such as its environment and the attitudes of its observers. This leads into the conclusion of the thesis, which summarizes the results to date and identifies potential steps for further study of the icon as a medium.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41518
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-25742
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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