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What is a Graven Image?

Historic precedent

Posted by chucksmom on 2004-10-08 16:47:30

Please allow me to shed some light on this subject. Please note that Christianity came out of Judaism, which has no images, other than the Star of David. This was to separate themselves from all other "pagan" faiths of the time, basically, if you "worshipped" an idol, you were probably not a Jew, or a Christian. However, almost all people until very recently were illiterate (unlike the Jews, who as part of their religious practice, celebrate reading the Torah at age 13 at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah). So when gentiles (pagans) joined up to be Christian, the church needed ways to communicate Christian ideas with no reading/writing. For illiterate people, having a concrete idea of the Christian message was very powerful. Also, you will find in the 11th Century a powerful movement called the Iconoclasts. These people went through churches/public buildings, looting, burning, destroying "Idols" (any image of anything basically). This was a general movement that spread throughout the middle east. They were convinced that the idea of god and actual representation of it was blasphemy. This idea actually took root very well in Islam. There are NO images whatsover in their mosques, that's why they've developed the intricate art based designs only. They are even more strict than Judaism. The only time you might find something is a representation of a leaf or vine a wall, which is incorporated into the overall design. Imagine us looting the local Art Museum, Science Museum, or the corner Church-Personally I think it is (was) a bit extreme. There is a huge difference between an idea and the object representing that idea. I find it strange that modern society still has problems with such a small intellectual leap.

Posted by Gary S on 2012-02-05 23:28:32

As a life long Catholic I find images---stain glass--statues---paintings of Jesus or saints to be helps to pray-----The image in itself is not worshipped or adored---Worship or adoration belong only to God----