Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 475–515


  • English

Print Length

41 pages

16. Extraordinary Jesus Images

  • Luke Clossey (author)
The last of three art chapters looks at example images, especially those which were understood to be especially accurate or powerful. It begins with a statistical overview, using correspondence analysis of the metadata of thousands of Jesus images to chart shifts in subject matter over time and space. We then turn to miraculous images by describing what they depicted, what they achieved, and how they were activated. A small number of Jesus images were considered especially faithful representations, having been either pressed upon his body or created by an eyewitness. These speak to the plain ken, given their interest in the first-century Jesus, and in the mechanisms of replicating an appearance in spacetime. From these developed a tradition of lifelike Jesus portraits that converged with secular representations of individuals. Perhaps the most arresting Jesus images are those visualized as drenched with blood, which the owner could physically lance or use in connection with indulgences.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.