Iconoclasm is defined as the XX. It may be carried out in the context of one’s religion or against the icons of another faith, as evinced by Muslim destruction of Christian and pagan idols.
In their papers on Islamic iconoclasm, G.R.D. King and F.B. Flood approach the topic from two different temporal viewpoints. While King situates his paper within a medieval period and delineates an evolution of the origins of Islamic iconoclasm and compares it to Byzantine iconoclasm, Flood extends his arguments to the present and asks how our understanding of the development of iconoclasm can elucidate contemporary militant groups’ iconoclasm. Despite the temporal disparity, both King and Flood argue that Islamic iconoclasm had more than just religious considerations and must also be seen in a political and economic context. Additionally, Flood postulates that in the modern day, museums can function as new means, which inform Islamic iconoclasm. long, culturally determined, and unchanging tradition of violent iconoclastic acts"
Firstly, both King and Flood agree that opposition to figuration had no liturgical basis in the Qur’an. Rather, it had its roots in the Traditions of the Prophet, the hadith, a collection of sayings by the Prophet. It forbids representations as God is considered “inconceivable [and] beyond encompassing by any artistic repertoire”. King suggests that this understanding led to aniconism and motivated acts of iconoclasm. Additionally, Muslims
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But it was clear that it was not absolute because God gave instructions on how to make a three-dimensional Cherubim for the Ark of the Covenant, which was quoted in the Old Testament, a couple of chapters after the passage that prohibits images. Emperor Constantine V gave a slightly different theological approach for iconoclasm. He claimed, " He claimed that each visual representation of Christ necessarily ends in a heresy since Christ, according to generally accepted Christian dogmas, is simultaneously God and man, united without separation, and any visual depiction of Christ either separates these natures, representing Christ’s humanity alone, or confuses
In post-classical history, Islam was recognized for its loyalty to Allah and its precise rules of religion. Muhammad, founder of Islam, was born from a nomad-merchant class, giving a pulse to the traveling trait of Islam and its literal veins of expansion throughout the Eurasian borders. While keeping the classic code of Muhammad’s original law underway, Islam’s expansion during 600- 1200 C.E. introduced advanced authority and systems of economic control.
John of Damascus argues in favor of Icons. He begins with a definition of images and worship. He argues that an image is a representation of “invisible and intangible things, on which they throw a faint light” (John of Damascus, 1). This definition is attractive, especially when applied to religious figures because it provides worshippers with a better understanding of God and His decrees. John argues that God permits images, such as the ark, the staff, and the tabernacle (2). John affirms, “I do not worship matter, I worship the God of matter, who became matter for my sake, and deigned to inhabit matter…” (2). According to John, God reduced himself to matter for worshippers to create visual representations of God. These images represent the
The three treatises by Damascus, are aimed “against those who rejected the use of icons.” Damascus argues that “the theological fact of the incarnation of Christ provides a solid formation for the use of icons in devotion.” Damascus explains many different physical items, such as icons, in worship and adoration. An example of one of the physical items he used as icons is, “Was not the triply blessed wood of the cross matter.”
life” (Visual Arts Cork). The Roman Catholics were criticized for having false images of the bible in their artworks and worshipping idols as if they were holy. This decreased the amount of paintings of idol figures from the Protestants Luther stated that anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry. “You are not to have no other Gods” (Exodus 20:3).
There is a problem in the modern world with the way we look and understand images having to do with Islam. Efforts taken by the media to share images which creates a positive perspective on Islam, are rare. Instead images that cause the public to connect Muslims to terror and radicalism are common because the media utilizes punctum’s such as, an image of a young victim of a terror attack, to tap into ones emotions, gaining the public’s attention. the reason why the media cares about increasing their audience is because the world revolves around money and unfortunately the world has become so used to opening up the newspaper in the morning and seeing negative images, that positive images don’t appeal to media moguls. An important
(Damascus, 8) The line between veneration and worship is at the very least, a dangerous one, and John of Damascus brings clarity and distinction on the matter. However, the issue of "carved likeness" still remains. He referred to people and angels being venerated but how then are we to address the issues of
Saint John of Damascus argues that iconography is not against the old testaments preachings; particularly, the Ten Commandments. He professes that it is his obligation to justify the necessity to venerate icons. These icons depicted Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.
The roots of religious terrorism, while fairly difficult to place, seems to hold their weight in a religions sacred scripture – whether that be the bible, the Qur’an, or any other form of ideological instruction and story perpetuated by a specific religion. Terrorism in the religious sense seems to be rooted in a longing for the triumphant historic past based in military success and thriving religious kingdoms Along with this longing for the “old ways,” there goes hand in hand the desire of preservation. Violence has always worked alongside religion when its traditions and customs were being threatened, therefore the roots that currently hold of religious terrorism hold strongly in this need to preserve the past. (Roots of Terrorism, pp.
Thirdly, these polemics argued that Islam “either permits or else that it encourages, unnatural intercourse between people of the same sex”. (Daniel, 164). Since Christianity considered this to be an unnatural intercourse, it tried to delegitimize the religion on the basis of “natural” law. Furthermore, they even argued that in fact, it was the Prophet Muhammad, who “introduced sodomy into the ‘garden of nature’ in which his people lived. (Daniel, 166). As Edward Said also writes in Orientalism, Christian thinkers believed, “quite incorrectly – that Mohammed was to Islam as Christ was to Christianity”. (Said, 61). Meaning, that they would take the Prophet’s life, as little as they were aware of, and
The concept explored in Equus with Alan crippling his god took regular idolatry further than most instances. I often associate idolatry with Timothy Keller’s definition of idolatry: “An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give.” In Equus, Alan’s boyhood experience of Christ’s picture being replaced with the horse altered his psychological state and view of God. Alan’s altered mental state led him to try to replace Christ with Equus. However, rage consumed him when his secular religion revealed a Christian truth: God sees everything. Alan’s frustration manifested in blinding the horses shows a potential outcome of extreme idolatry. This book provided new insight for me into the nature of idolatry. I connected this
Often referred to as Iconoclasm; the act of rejecting, destroying or disowning of religious icons and idols has been a niche human theme throughout history. From the era of the Byzantine Empire, to the German Protestants, Christian iconoclasm seems to spring up in nearly every time period. That being said, instances of the rejection of idols and icons is presented by two rather eloquent texts: The Gothic Idol: ideology and image-making in medieval art by Michael Camille, as well as, The Idol in the Age of Art by Suzanne Preston Blier. The first text mentions idols of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, while the second focuses on idols of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In addition, the iconoclastic movement among German Protestants occurred during the sixteenth century.
Finbarr Barry Flood discusses Islamic Iconoclasm in his article “Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm, and the Museum”. Flood discusses the clashes that the iconoclast Islamic world has with the modern western world and wants to change the reader’s perception of Islamic iconoclasm. There were two main goals of his article, one is the Islamic iconoclasm has occurred for awhile throughout history, and two, that much of the iconoclasm steams from political aspects, rather than theological aspects. Flood decides to focus on Afghanistan and India in his text.
Richard Powers once said “The history of art is the history of iconoclasm, the history of some new voice saying that everything you know is wrong.” What does Mr. Powers mean by this statement? To understand what he means we first have to go back and look at what iconoclasm means. Iconoclasm means the doctrine or practice of an iconoclast, which in turn means a person who criticizes or opposes widely accepted practices and beliefs. To further understand the statement said by Mr. Powers we will also have to look at the history of iconoclasm, current iconoclastic events, study when the desire of preservation of icons becomes a form of worship, and whether the worship of the icon is the same as worshiping the beliefs or practices they represent.