Idol Worship? (West Semitic Material & Empty Space Aniconism)

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I took these from Trygge N.D. Mettinger’s No Graven Image?: Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context, the point of which is to show that aniconic non-figurative “representation” of divinity was not, as is so often assumed, unique to biblical religion. What the coins show is exceptionally weird, namely the installment of abstract, non-anthropomorphic, even tablet-like figures and empty frames, made in stone, as objects around which to organize ritual activity. Do these things count as idols? Is this idol worship?

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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