Religion 216b

Haverford College

Images of Jesus

Prof. Anne McGuire


Rogier van der Weyden (1400-1464)

Hieronymous Bosch (1450-1516)

Correggio (1490-1534)

Caravaggio (1573-1610)

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

W. Sallmann, Head of Christ (1940)

Course Syllabus

Student Web Projects: Images of Jesus

WWW Resources for Images of Jesus

Many of the images appearing on this site were found at CGFA: Carol Gerten Fine Arts, one of many links on the WWW Resources for Images of Jesus page.

Course Description:

This course offers an overview of images of Jesus, as he has been depicted in a variety of genres, modes of representation, and periods. In the first section of the course, we'll examine closely the earliest, most influential depictions of Jesus: the narratives of the New Testament gospels, along with other NT writings and selected non-canonical texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas. In the second, we'll look closely at representations of Jesus in the visual arts, from Byzantine icons and mosaics through the magnificent frescoes, altarpieces, and paintings of later Western art. In the third and final section of the course, we'll consider contemporary images of Jesus in theology, popular religion, scholarship, and the arts, especially film.

Our goal in this course is not to distinguish between the "real" historical Jesus and later mis/representations, any more than it is to rescue the "true" Christ of faith from heretical misappropriations. Rather,our primary goal is to understand the ways in which writers, artists, theologians of various periods and ideological perspectives have constructed their own distinctive images of Jesus through an active re-imagining of the person of Jesus, his teachings, and the story of his life, death, and resurrection.

 Course Outline:

Required Textbooks:


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