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The first icons were images of holy figures that served as conduits for a worshipper's communication with Christ and his saints through prayer. While they were instrumental to the spread of Christianity and the subsequent development of religious art, the concept of the icon has shaped even secular belief in the powers wielded by images up to the present day. This talk will address how the ways people past and present have regarded images--where we encounter them, what we do with them, how we react to them, and even why we destroy them--proves the enduring legacy of icons.


Andrew Casper is Associate Professor Art and Architecture History and a specialist of Renaissance and Baroque Art in southern Europe. He is the author of numerous essays and articles on sixteenth-century icons and religious paintings in Italy and two books: Art and the Religious Image in El Greco’s Italy and the forthcoming The Shroud of Turin: An Artful Relic in Baroque Italy, both published by Penn State University Press. Professor Casper is also the winner of the 2014 Miami University Distinguished Teaching Award.

Objects that Changed the World is a new collaboration between the Miami University Humanities Center and the Alumni Association. Featuring Miami’s nationally recognized faculty in the humanities, each lecture is inspired by an object of such prevalence today it might be easily overlooked and develops original insights and novel lessons about the object in question. We invite all alumni to reconnect with faculty and to show their support for the Humanities Center’s mission to advocate for the central place of the humanities in both the university and wider society. 

To donate and become a Friend of the Humanities Center, click here.

Dial-In Information

Register for this lecture here. Please reach out to J.J. Slager,, with questions.  

Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

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Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni, General Public

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Arts & Humanities, Global & International


Alumni Association, Humanities Center
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