The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to present another episode of its webinar series highlighting the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christianity.
This episode features a conversation with Karin Krause on her recent book Divine Inspiration in Byzantium: Notions of Authenticity in Art and Theology (University of Chicago Press, 2022). In this volume, Karin Krause examines conceptions of divine inspiration and authenticity in the religious literature and visual arts of Byzantium. During antiquity and the medieval era, “inspiration” encompassed a range of ideas regarding the divine contribution to the creation of holy texts, icons, and other material objects by human beings. Krause traces the origins of the notion of divine inspiration in the Jewish and polytheistic cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds and their reception in Byzantine religious culture. Exploring how conceptions of authenticity are employed in Eastern Orthodox Christianity to claim religious authority, she analyzes texts in a range of genres, as well as images in different media, including manuscript illumination, icons, and mosaics. Her interdisciplinary study demonstrates the pivotal role that claims to the divine inspiration of religious literature and art played in the construction of Byzantine cultural identity.
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