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Image, Devotional
(642 words)

[German Version]

To be a “devotional image” in the sense of excitandum devotionis affectus (Thomas Aquinas, Sententiae III dist. 9 q.1a2), that is, to elicit a feeling of devoutness, is, according to the Christian doctrine of images, the task and justification of all images.

The corresponding German word formation Andachtsbild is traced back to J.W. v. Goethe, who also spoke of Andachtsgebäude (“devotional buildings”). In common usage, devotional images were usually small-sized, mostly graphic images that were fixed to the wall or placed in the prayer boo…

Cite this page
Hengevoss-Dürkop, Kerstin, “Image, Devotional”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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