Speculation about Speculation, seeing and believing, visions, Jan van Eyck, and Woody Allen!

Speculation on Speculation, Vision, the Role of Images in accessing the Divine, Van Eyck, and Woody Allen!


  1. What did Suso mean by speculation in Pauline sense?
  2. What is dangerous about the opposition of corporeal and spiritual sight?
  3. What does Suso propose as a form of Imitatio Christi?
  4. What are the implications of God’s authorship of history, Scripture, and nature?
  5. What is the process of manducatio?
  6. What was Gertrude’s view of images?
  7. Why are the works of Jan van Eyck so suitable for Jeffrey Hamburger’s theories about seeing and believing?
  8. Discuss the perils of visionary experiences.
  9. What in the final analysis is the visio Dei?
  10. Is it possible to compare apples and oranges: does Schwarz’s analysis of Jan van Eyck and Woody Allen work?
  11. Compare the two artists’ (van Eyck and Woody Allen) ways of distinguishing figures within their respective works.
  12. Would Jeffrey Hamburger agree with this author’s analysis of the Ghent altarpiece?
  13. Should this course have a tag line of Romans 1.20?

Questions on the Absent Presence, the Passion, Memory, and More…..

Questions on the Absent Presence, the Passion and Memory, and More….



  1. What was the significance of secondary relics in the instance of the Virgin Mary? How did contact relics function?
  2. Was either flare-up of Iconoclasm (in the 8th-9thc. and in the 16thc.) all- pervasive? Would Robert Maniura and C.W. Bynum agree about materiality at a cocktail party?
  3. Do you agree that the “European Christian tradition was itself profoundly concerned with the potential ‘betrayal of images’?”
  4. What is Maniura’s definition of a saint and how does veneration of the Virgin Mary differ from that of “normal” saints?
  5. What does Maniura mean by mimetic rituals? In what ways is the saint constituted by the ritual?
  6. Why were the macaronic sermons amphibious (both in Latin and the vernacular) and what are the commonalities shared by these sermons?
  7. How does the Latin Good Friday sermon preached by Thomas Brinton differ from the macaronic examples?
  8. What does an effective macaronic sermon accomplish and by what means does it achieve its efficacy?
  9. What visual images are elicited to help frame individual vignettes of these sermons?
  10. Johnson states that “these sermons ..both reinforce the liturgical present of the Good Friday rituals and bring the act of private meditation into the public realm.” Do you share her enthusiasm for these sermons and their efficacy?
  11. Discuss the omnitemporalness of the Middle Ages. Yikes!
  12. In what way may Christ’s Passion be construed as analogous to the Roman practice of damnatio memoriae?
  13. In Parshall’s opinion, how does the image of Christ as the Man of Sorrows function?
  14. In what way is the image of the suffering Christ “more fraught with private implication than the Crucifixion itself?” Do you agree with Parshall’s reading of this genre of images?
  15. Do you agree with Parshall’s reading of Bout’s images of Christ’s face as templates of the human face without an individual referent that prompt the viewer to fill in the details, as it were?
  16. What changes in society accompanied the “new realism” of the fifteenth century?