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Understanding the Oblivion of Steinberg's Sexuality of Christ

Fri, March 23, 11:00am to 12:30pm, Hilton Riverside, 3rd Level - Canal Room


This paper proposes first that Caroline Walker Bynum’s reply to Leo Steinberg’s Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion is essential for understanding the complex temporality evoked by the two last words of Steinberg’s title. Then it reflects upon the reasons why, beyond the consequences of the Counter-Reformation or the modern contemporary loss of perspective on Christian mythography, Steinberg’s convincing visual argument remained unvisible to generations of art historians. My argument entails situating the Steinberg/Bynum exchange in the context of art historical debates during the 1980’s.