In an era in which the internet has made pornography readily accessible, Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart offers a theological critique of pornography and retrieves from the Christian tradition an alternative visual culture. This visual culture is constituted by both the character of the images we behold and the manner in which we see. Contributors include psychologists William M. Struthers and Jill Manning, who address the neurological effects of pornography and its influences on personal, familial, and social life. Their professional analysis is complemented by the testimony of a young man in recovery from pornography addiction. In an exposition of Christian visual culture, Orthodox iconographer Randi Sider-Rose describes the spiritual discipline of icon writing, Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D., surveys the iconography and art of Marian traditions, and art historian Dianne Phillips elucidates the meaning of divine desire as evident in Catholic visual culture of the late medieval and early modern periods. Catholic theologians Ann W. Astell, Nathanial Peters, Boyd Taylor Coolman, and Nicolas Ogle discuss specific practices and dimensions of the Catholic tradition that can contribute to the cultivation of sacramental vision, and David W. Fagerberg, Kimberly Hope Belcher, Jennifer Newsome Martin, and John C. Cavadini offer reflections on sacramental imagination and the healing of vision.
Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart is a work of scholarship composed with pastoral care and concern, and it will be serviceable to both classroom teachers and pastoral ministers. A special feature of the book is an inset of seventy-two full-color plates featuring both classic and contemporary works of Christian iconography and art. The essays and images invite readers to behold in beauty the truth that we are created by the triune God not for sexual objectification but with a sacramental vocation to deification through Christ and the Holy Spirit of love.