Images 2 Assignment

Images PART II

Assignment Summary

Analyze two images from websites you identified for the Images I Assignment.

Learning goals

  1. Student identified two religious objects housed at credible cultural institutions.
  2. Student gave citations (URLs) for two religious objects.
  3. The two objects are from different religions in different parts of the world.
  4. Student will analyze the historical importance of the two objects by answering questions.
  5. Student demonstrates an understanding of the differences between orthodox and heterodox belief.


By now you have a sense of both the history of three major world
religions and the art that those religions have influenced. We're going
to extend your understanding of art and religion by focusing on how art
is used within a religion and in contrast to other religions. 

Your task this week is to choose two religious images (art) from the
period 1650-1750). Around the Mediterranean this is the period of
Scientific Revolution .
In Muslim North Africa and Buddhism China, this era witnesses the rise
of a new dynasty (the Qing, 1644-1912) and the continued fracturing of
African governments. 

Throughout this period, artists continued to turn to religion for
inspiration. Still, by this period, all three religions were
well-established, and had well-established subject matters, styles, and
symbolic languages. 

Our task is understand how artists reflected the religious and
non-religious themes of the day. 

  • Before I lay out your project, let's cover one more concept that is
    central to understanding religion and the art of religion: orthodoxy and
    heterodoxy. To be orthodox in a religion means a believer concludes
    there is only one correct way to practice that religion. To the orthodox
    (an all three religions have orthodox practitioners) any deviation from
    that one correct way is blasphemy and equally bad as non-believers
    actions. For example, and orthodox Muslim might believe that his way of
    washing feet before prayer is the only way and all other ways are as bad
    as polytheism. 

  • The term "orthodox" may be confusing as we often associate it with
    particular sect of Christianity. And Orthodox Christians are more strict
    in their interpretation of the Christian message. Nonetheless, orthodox
    (small "o") refers only to those who are rigid in their faith. Those who
    believe there are multiple ways to practice a faith are known as
    heterodox believers. For example, a Buddhist who says "I pray five times
    a day, but my neighbor only prays twice, and that's ok" displays a
    heterodox religious behavior. 

  • Briefly: orthodox = strict interpretation of a faith / heterodox =
    diverse interpretations of a faith. 

  • Religious art reflects this clash between the orthodox and heterodox. In
    fact, some of fiercest religious fights of this period are between
    practitioners of the same religion, not between practitioners of
    different religions. For example, the Sufi and Shia and Protestants and
    Catholics fought far more against their co-religious than against other

Your project is to chose two images from one of the websites we discussed last week and write about those two images.


First: Chose two religious images based on the following criteria

  1. Original artwork is from the period 1650-1750 C.E. and has a
    creation date that is accurate to within a decade. 
  2. Artwork should be housed at a credible cultural institution and the
    image of the artwork should be hosted on a credible website. 
  3. Your two images must be from different religions from different
    parts of the world (For the purposes of this assignment we'll assume
    Turkey is not part of Europe). 
  4. Your two images must have explicit religious content. 

Second: Answer the following questions in complete sentences for
both images. Most questions will require a short paragraph but no
question requires more than one paragraph. 

  1. What does your image tell us about the material past? (the material
    past is the stuff of history- shoes, clothes, food, transportation,
    books, etc). 
  2. Is your image more of an orthodox or heterodox religious art piece?
    Why do you conclude that? 
  3. Does your image address other religions or just its own? Why does
    that matter for understanding the history of religion in the region
    of the image? 
  4. What historical trend/event/person/idea or technology is most
    evident in your image?
  5. In one sentence, what is the historical significance of this piece? 

My expectation is that answering these questions will require 200-300
words for each image. 

Place the URL of your images at the bottom of your paper. You may, but
do not have to, post the images themselves. 

Third: Submit your document to the Images 2 Drobpox. 

Grading criteria

You will be graded based on the following rubric:

  1. Assignment effectively addressed all of the questions asked. \
  2. Assignment uses clear language with a formal and clear style. \
  3. Assignment contains no spelling, punctuation , or grammatical errors. \
  4. Assignment demonstrates understanding about the period studied. \
  5. Assignment effectively analyzes the history in a religious art image. \
  6. Student gave citations (URLs) for two religious objects. \
  7. The two objects are from different religions in different parts of the world. \
  8. Student will analyze the historical importance of the two objects by answering questions. \
  9. Student demonstrates an understanding of the differences between orthodox and heterodox belief. 5.