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Mithraism Pretexts in Artworks of Christianity




 This article intends to take an intertextual approach to investigate relationship between works of art, especially visual works of Mithraism _ as pretext _ and Christianity. For this purpose, pictorial samples including eight themes of birth, sanctity of water and baptism, image of mother and child, the Last Supper, ascension and resurrection, sanctity of red, apostles and crucifixes were selected from both religions. Then, visual samples were selected according to these themes and their relationship was described with intertextual approaches. intertextuality is basically a literary _ artistic theory which believes there is no text without a pretext. This theory, which first was raised by Julia Kristeva, focuses on intertextual relations in production and reading process of texts. There are two types of intertextuality in general: production and reading intertextuality. Production type pay attention to pretexts of work in production process, that is examining the works that have played a role in the production of subsequent works. In addition, there are different types of intertextuality studies. for instance, transtextuality is one of them which introduced by Gerrard Genette. Genette describes transtextuality as all that sets the text in a relationship whether obvious or concealed, with other texts. Transtextuality can be include a varieties types of text relationships: intertextuality, Paratextuality, Metatextuality, Architextuality and Hypertextuality. intertextuality is as a relationship of copresence between two texts or among several texts. A tittle, a subtitle, intertitles, prefaces, postfaces, notices, forewords and etc are paratext. Metatextuality is the relationship most often labeled commentary. By architextuality Genette means the entire set of general or transcendent categories types of discourse, modes of enunciation, literary geners from which emerges each singular text. By Hypertextuality he means any relationship uniting a text B (hypertext) to an earlier text A (hypotext) upon which it is grafted in a manner that is not that of commentary. The hypothesis of the present article is this: The pretexts of some Christian works of art is Mithraic works. To prove this hypothesis, some works of Christian art were analyzed using intertextual approach. The results led to proof of this hypothesis. In intertextual study of works of arts from two religions, different approaches of intertextuality were used: Genette transtextuality, Jenny approaches, Riffaterre intertextuality and etc. Intertextual relations in Mithraic and Christian works sometimes have an in-sign identity and sometimes an inter-sign basis. In some case studies, the pretext and text both are from one semiotic system but in others, the semiotic systems are different. The discovery of intertextual relationships between the study bodies of this paper also indicates intercultural relationships, Mithraism and Christian societies have two different cultures. The method of this research is historical _ analytical, its data is gathered via library source and by referring to books, articles and sites. The results of this article indicate that due to the common themes between Mithraism and Christian, there are strong relationships between them in different aspects and we can consider Mithraic works as pretexts for Christian works of art.


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    APA: Copy

    MOHAMMADZADEH, MEHDI, & BAGHERZADEH, ZAHRA. (2021). Mithraism Pretexts in Artworks of Christianity. RAHPOOYE HONAR, 4(2 ), 5-14. SID.

    Vancouver: Copy

    MOHAMMADZADEH MEHDI, BAGHERZADEH ZAHRA. Mithraism Pretexts in Artworks of Christianity. RAHPOOYE HONAR[Internet]. 2021;4(2 ):5-14. Available from:

    IEEE: Copy

    MEHDI MOHAMMADZADEH, and ZAHRA BAGHERZADEH, “Mithraism Pretexts in Artworks of Christianity,” RAHPOOYE HONAR, vol. 4, no. 2 , pp. 5–14, 2021, [Online]. Available:

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