Although the use of imagery in Early Christian and Byzantine homiletics can be defined as common device, one does often find examples (i.e. homilies) which are marked by an almost excessive use thereof, such as Amphilochius‘ homily In mulierem peccatricem. Images taken from both Scripture and contemporary life feature as constant binding or structural element in the development and forward movement of the narrative. In such cases one could not go wrong in referring to it as Ein Denken in Bildern. Within a homiletic style that can be defined as one of descriptive and dramatic representation of biblical episodes, the use of imagery plays an important role, for by means of imagery the preacher can establish and create a picturesque world in which he has the biblical characters move and act – but in which he also endeavours to involve the audience, making them participate in this newly created world. And the successful involvement of the audience in this recreated world of biblical characters guarantees for the preacher the power of his message.
As illustration of this way of thinking the analysis follows a linear reading of the homily (with constant reference to the outline of the homily as set out in B. Outline of the contens of Homily IV below) to show how Amphilochius uses images as links in a chain of narrative and dramatic exposition of his theme and/or message.