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The Triumph of the CrossThe Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation$
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Richard Viladesau

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335668

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335668.001.0001

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 The Protestant Reformation in the Church and the Arts

 The Protestant Reformation in the Church and the Arts

(p.103) 2 The Protestant Reformation in the Church and the Arts
The Triumph of the Cross

Richard Viladesau (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the context of the Protestant Reformation and explores the centrality of the cross in the theologies of the Reformers, especially Luther and Calvin. Both Reformers espoused a form of the theory of Christ's “penal substitution” for sinful humanity in his suffering on the cross. The emphasis on the Bible as the “word of God” resulted in iconoclasm on the part of some Reformers, and a devaluation of the pictorial arts for others. Albrecht Dürer is presented as a transitional figure, showing elements of both late medieval devotionalism and of the new humanist approach in his many portrayals of the Passion. Lukas Cranach exemplifies the direct influence of Luther on art, both thematically and in technique.

Keywords:   Luther, Calvin, penal substitution, Dürer, Cranach, iconoclasm, humanism

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