By Marie-Jose Mondzain
The barest know-how of the ubiquity and impact of the media this present day presents evidence sufficient that our destiny is within the palms of the picture. but if and the way used to be this destiny sealed? snapshot, Icon, financial system considers this question and recounts a necessary thread within the conceptualization of visible pictures in the Western culture. This publication argues that the intense strength of the picture in modern life—the modern imaginary—can be traced again to the Byzantine iconoclastic controversy of the 8th and 9th centuries. It was once in this interval that the church used to be pressured to provide an account of the theological prestige of the spiritual snapshot that might however no longer be open to even the slightest suspicion of idolatry. the answer arrived at used to be the twin doctrine of the picture, invisible (and hence past the cost of idolatry) and the icon, noticeable, and therefore completely suited for be positioned on the middle of a pedagogical and political method serving the temporal energy of the church. the rules of this vast philosophical company have been laid in not less than the multifarious, interwoven strands of the divine financial system, God's total plan for the salvation of humanity.
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Extra info for Image, Icon, Economy: The Byzantine Origins of the Contemporary Imaginary (Cultural Memory in the Present)
At the moment when both were about to join the priesthood, the beloved Basil seemed to his friend to possess all the intellectual and spiritual qualities required for such an undertaking. But Chrysostom himself did not yet feel ready for that step, torn between his taste for pleasures and the world, an aging mother who did not want to see him distanced from her, and the love of his friend, who was trying to win him over to the religious life. Here are the words of the "Golden Mouth" himself, describing what happened on the appointed day of the two friends' ordination: For looking to myself, I found nothing worthy of such an honor.
There is nothing in this meaning of the term that has been made up; rather, it makes use of its classic sense within canon law, and more generally, in all circumstances of pastoral or political life where the person who is about to take action must keep in mind the ends that he is aiming for in order to adapt the best means possible for attaining them, all the while keeping alive the spirit of church doctrine and not losing sight of the interests of the moment. As in the previous case with Origen, what disturbs the commentators did not disturb the church fathers in the least: using the same word to refer to the mystery of the incarnation and the enlightened process of deliberately adapting to a given situation.
The expenditure of holy eloquence and images that touch people is therefore part of the direct effect of the salvational economy. Here too, there is a principle of nonwastage: truths must not be dispensed through speech without art. Thus, the management of speech is an investment in emotional expenditure, aiming to gain time and force. This is the principle of all propaganda and publicity: how to spread the maximum information in the minimum time, and how to obtain agreement without reserve, conviction and obedience without objection.