Talk:Iconoclasm

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Jewish iconclasm[edit]

I think Douglas Rushkoff's definition of Jewish iconoclasm ought to be integrated into this explaination, whereas iconoclasm is an integral part of Jewish theology, the act of which (on forefather Abraham's part) was the defining moment that gave rise to Jewish monotheism. -- Mobius1

By all means, work it in. Sounds appropriate for the topic. Wesley 16:10, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Islamic influence[edit]

I was going to write in Christo-Islamic tradition that Iconoclasm was an influence of Islam in Eastern Orthodoxy, but I read here that Iconoclasm happened outside of Islamic rule. Did Islamic theology have some influence in Byzantine Iconoclasm? And the reverse?

Afghanistan[edit]

Just wondering if the following article is relevant to this topic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban#Buddhas_of_Bamiyan

  • Added the destruction of the Buddhas (Robindch (talk) 22:07, 20 May 2010 (UTC))

Actual Artwork Destroyed[edit]

Many of the original artwork destroyed in Europe during the Iconoclasm Period were images of the original depictions of Mary and Christ. The Orthodox had Images of 'semi-Africans' The artists were not fully sure of what african features were, besides dark skin and curly black hair, thus the paintings and coins had european shaped faces with dark skin and curly black hair. Western Europe destroyed these original depictions. In Russia, the images survived destruction. This link shows a range of artwork from the times. [1] http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/icons/misc_in.html Or just search for Orthodox artwork. There are tons of sites, and the artwork is for sale in some places.

Changes[edit]

Attempted revisions:

Germanos, the iconodule Patriarch of Constantinople, either resigned or was deposed following the ban, expressing concern that it would undermine the doctrine of the Incarnation. In the Western part of the Byzantine empire, Pope Gregory III held two synods at Rome and condemned Leo's actions, with the result that Leo seized some papal lands. During this initial period concern on the side of the emperor seems to have had little to do with theology and more with practical evidence and effects. Icon veneration was forbidden simply because it was seen as a violation of the biblical commandment forbidding making and venerating images. It also gave some the opportunity to enrich themselves through the confiscation of icons, as evidenced by the Council of Hieria's condemnation of the practice in 754.

Problem: The lack of theological defense was not merely on the side of the emperor at this point.

Problem: Who are the "some"? If you want to say it was Leo, simply do so and back it up with a quoted citation, but avoid given the impression that Leo's opposition to icons was primarily for enriching his coffers, for which there is no evidence. Otherwise that "some" enriched themselves is immaterial.


In a response recalling the later Protestant Reformation, Constantine moved against the monasteries, had relics thrown into the sea, and stopped the invocation of saints. (The "Iconoclastic Council" of 754 anathemetized anyone who "denies the profit of the invocation of Saints" among others.)

Problem: You present it without any point. The real point would be that Constantine apparently held some personal beliefs that went beyond the declaration of the Council of Hieria. Your problem, then, is how to present that in the context of the present article as somehow relevant. It would be very relevant in an article on Constantine, but it seems inserted here merely to "make Constantine look bad." If you can somehow increase its relevancy to the article and back it up with the appropriate quote and citation, it might well be added to the article. At present it is more appropriate to Constantine's personal psychology and a separate article on him.

You also removed a bit of information on how Patriarch Germanos thought that a change of stance would show "the church had erred." You completely changed it to give it a different meaning, rather than adding what you felt was an additional bit of information. It has been returned, and any addition will be considered for future inclusion, but merely replacing it with a quite different statement is something else.

Do not expect me to be so wordy in the future. I do not have the time.

Germanos did give a brief theological defense of icons prior to their ban. I added the quote to either this or the Icon article some time ago, and you deleted it, I can only assume because it contradicts your view of history.
The Council of Hieria did not name the specific princes and officials who enriched their coffers, so neither did I. I did cite that council, which if you read it the quote is easy enough to find.
The disconnect between imperial behaviour and what the Church had declared is highly relevant to this subject as well as to an article on Constantine.
If you believe that Patriarch Germanos thought that a change of stance would show the church had erred, please provide a citation in support of that. I have already provided a quote showing that Germanos's concern was theological, and that the error was in forbidding images.
For these reasons, I'm restoring the changes. Wesley 16:22, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Iconoclasm during the French Revolution[edit]

We recommend that a section be created labeled “Iconoclasm during the French Revolution”. It has come to our attention that a number of important events and anti-theological dispositions during the terror have been fundamentally excluded from the present page. We thus would welcome a chance to offer four points of analysis that we believe will contribute to the already informative page you oversee. These points are 1) A more precise description of the transformation of Notre Dame into a Temple of Reason, 2) The removal of fine art with depictions of the former monarchy as divine, as carried out by Revolutionary activist groups during the Terror, 3) Ritual burnings of religious volumes, and their replacement with enlightenment texts in public thought and discourse, and 4) The desecration of the royal tombs. Hercules1794 (talk) 15:49, 29 April 2014 (UTC)Hercules1794Hercules1794 (talk) 15:49, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Lifeless representation forbidden[edit]

Wesley, I think that the first point of summary exaggerates, when it says

Iconoclasm forbade the making of any image or painting that was intended to represent Jesus or one of the saints.

Reading it more closely, the extreme view of the iconoclasts, which holds pictoral representation in such high contempt, is explained by contrast:

If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent their virtues as living images in himself, let him be anathema!"

The point is not quite that image and painting are forbidden. Rather, "if anyone shall represent ... and does not rather represent". The contrast is between two ways of representing the likeness of the saints: by paint (which leaves their virtue unrepresented), or by imitation of their virtuous life. The latter is the tradition received from the apostles, the former is a vain notion introduced by the devil, according to the iconoclasts.
I think that the summary could better be written, "Iconoclasm condemned the making of any lifeless image ..." — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:53, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I think if you read the council's definition in full, you'll find that a painting is exactly what they meant by "lifeless image", and that in particular, any painting of Jesus presented a false Christology just by being a painting of Jesus. Veneration was only one of the things you could not do with a painting of Jesus. You were also forbidden to make a painting/image (of Jesus or the saints), bring one into a church, bring one into one's home, etc. Wesley 05:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Mark's "Summary"[edit]

Mark's summary is incorrect. Iconoclasm did not condemn the making of any lifeless image. It condemned the making of images of God, Of Jesus, of the angels and saints for veneration. Secular images were not forbidden, nor was the cross, which was used to replace forbidden images in churches.

What I said was that it condemned the making of any lifeless image of Jesus or of saints (in the attempt to represent their virtues by colors of paint, rather than in a godly life). Paint as opposed to life, is the central objection. The image of Jesus can be seen, incarnate - in a life conformed to his image, in the church as it grows toward the full measure of the stature of Christ, the Head of the Church. It cannot be seen in a painting: a mere docetist shadow. The full quote of the Iconoclast anathemas makes this clear; and it's too bad that it was removed. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:38, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Non-religious Iconoclasm[edit]

I don't know nearly enough to do this, but there really should be a section on (Russian) peasant iconoclasm, as it was such a major part of the history. Nearly every peasant revolt involved destroying "foreign" symbols, which were usually non-reigious things such as glass windows, or mantleplaces. Yes there was sometimes religoius aspects as well, but that was still 'out with the new, in with the old' iconoclasm. Iconoclasm manifested itself even more in the Russian revolution, where lenin had to take drastic measures to protect priceless (bourgeois/european) art, artifacts, symbols from destruction!

Yes - also the Cultural revolution should be covered Johnbod 04:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

In The first iconoclastic period section: 730-787 section:

- In the third paragraph, made clarifications on who participated in the Iconoclast Council and its uncanonical nature. Referring to the Constantine Council as the "Seventh Ecumenical Council" is inaccurate. The Councils were numbered later on, and this one isn't the Seventh EC.

In the Issues in Byzantine Iconoclasm section:

- Removed sentence: "While the arguments of the iconodules were largely based on biblical commands and written Church tradition, John based his arguments on the Neo-Platonist view of the relation between an image and that which it depicts."

This is factually incorrect. Not only does it contradict the next few comments, but St. John Damascene used Biblical and Patristic material in his support of the veneration of images. There's too much material to copy over, but excerpts of his On Holy Images and The Fount of Wisdom can be found here (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/johndam-icons.html). The Patristic support is vastly more supportive of the Iconodule position than the Iconoclast one.

Avraamrii 03:13, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for cleaning that up. I recall repeatedly asking an earlier editor for patristic material supporting iconoclasm, and if I recall correctly, all he provided were some writings urging Christians not to worship pagan idols. Wesley 05:27, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Rumors on the Beeldenstorm[edit]

You may want to investigate that among Spanish Catholics there was a rumor that the Durch Reformers smashed the images of the saints but did not break the images of the devils subjugated by those saints. --Error 18:59, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

proposed merge with Aniconism[edit]

See Talk:Aniconism for my reasons against a complete merge. Wesley 05:24, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Iconoclasm and architecture[edit]

In the current version of Islamic iconoclasm there are two out of a total of three paragraphs dealing with the reconversion of non-islamic religious builings into mosques. I don't think they should be in this article since the destructive action is directed against the builing as a whole and not against the images in it. A good example however is the plastering of the floor of the Aya Sophia. -- And yes, no merging with aniconism, these are two distinct topics. / Abjad 03:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

modern iconoclasm[edit]

Not sure where to put this at the moment, but worthy of inclusion IMO: Christian zealots destroy ancient Arctic petroglyphs, Randy Boswell, CanWest News Service, August 26, 2006 http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=8abe338f-f3f6-4a2e-a701-082e61411817 Шизомби 07:22, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

what state courthouse ?[edit]

from the article:

Such one is the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. (an allegorical statue of Muhammad on the State Appellate Division courthouse ...
where would this be then??? Johnbod 04:28, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorted now Johnbod 18:17, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

The "Muslim effect"[edit]

My apologies; I had written an explanation here before editing the previous version of this sentence, but seem not to have saved it:

The continuing cultural confrontation with, and military threat from, the inherently "iconoclastic" Islam probably had a bearing on the attitudes of both sides.

Two quibbles here:

1) Islam, especially is this early period, was neither inherently iconoclastic nor inherently 'iconoclastic'; the scare quotes don't help. There has always been a debate about the proper role of images in Islamic, as in Christian, society; and in the period in question there was in fact a robust tradition of figural representation in the caliphate, both in secular (e.g. Qasr Amra, Khirbat al-Mafjar, etc.) & in religious contexts (on the latter see the references in G. Fowden, "Late antique art in Syria and its Umayyad evolutions," Journal of Roman Archaeology 17 (2004), 301-22).

2) In terms of cultural confrontation: I know of no good evidence that Muslim "iconoclasm" or "aniconism" was a motivating factor in Byzantine iconoclasm. The Byz. stories to the contrary are post-iconoclastic and highly polemic/ legendary (see P. Speck, Ich bin's nicht, Kaiser Konstantin ist es gewesen: die Legenden vom Einfluss des Teufels, des Juden und des Moslem auf den Ikonoklasmus (Bonn, 1990)). In the earliest sources, i.e. Germanos's letters, the argument is made that to ban icon worship is to give comfort to the enemy, who had always accused orthodox Christians of idolatry, but the "enemies" mentioned here are heretics, heathens, and Jews.

The military conflict, on the other hand, may have been decisive; but this is a matter of Arabs qua military opponents, and anyone else, "iconoclastic" or otherwise, would have served just as well. See for example the discussion of the 727 siege of Nicaea in Mango's outline, "Historical introduction," in Bryer & Herrin, eds., Iconoclasm, pp. 2-3. --Javits2000 10:06, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

My sentence is deliberately very tentative, and there is now never likely to be any new evidence to settle the matter. Despite a revisionist trend over the last few decades, I think that to seek to extirpate all reference to the "coincidence in time" between the emergence of a new rival civilization with attitudes, shall we say, leaning towards the Iconclast worldview, is to miss the elephant in the room.
I don't have access to Fowden, but according to Grabar in Bryer & Herrin figures in Islamic art were restricted to private contexts even then - a more-than-Iconclast position. Germanos does mention "Arabs", according to Mango's Introduction (and the quote in the article). Almost all the sources we have for specific happenings are "post-iconoclastic and highly polemic". Of course I have no problem with the reaction to specific military moments, especially in the lead up to the second period. "Inherently iconoclastic" is a not ideal shorthand formulation that could be improved.

Johnbod 14:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Quite right to note a somewhat modish and "revisionist" tendency in my remarks above; nevertheless I think it's a strong position, and its newness stems largely from the fact that the sources on the period have only recently been critically assessed (beginning w/ Gero's books).
When I refer to "polemic/legendary" accounts of Arab influence, I mean the stories according to which Leo made a deal with a group of Muslims/Jews/devils (largely interchangeable) according to which he would ban icons after having acceded to the throne through black magic. And these are, I think it will be agreed, rather more fantastic still than most other sources for iconoclasm.
I have neither Mansi nor Bryer & Herrin at hand & am relying on notes for Mango; I don't recall the context in which Germanos mentioned the Arabs, but can check soon enough.
I very much doubt that Grabar would reiterate his position of the late '70s today without modification, although far be it from me to put words into his mouth. In any case, public, figural art in Umayyad Damascus, and at the entry to the Great Mosque no less, is now fairly well attested: F.B. Flood, The great mosque of Damascus: studies on the making of an Umayyad visual culture (Leiden, 2001), on the monumental clock at one of the temenos gates. The desert palaces straddle the public/private divide; they were royal residences, and often served as reception halls. (Fowden, Qusayr 'Amra (Berkeley, 2004) & R.W. Hamilton, Walid and his friends (Oxford, 1988)).
It'll have become obvious that I think the thesis of Islamic "influence" on Byz. iconoclasm is superfluous, if not rubbish; everything necessary already existed in Byz. society. In general the thesis is tied to an old, tired notion of the Semitic peoples as aniconic (as if there weren't as many pictures in Syriac churches as in Greek!) in contrast to image-loving Hellas (this is clearly stated, for better or worse, at the end of Mango's introduction, a bit that is in my notes: "there is a great deal of justification for calling it a Semitic movement"). However that may be, it does remain a legitimate scholarly position; but if we're going to float it, perhaps the counter-argument should be stated as well.
It's Islam as "inherently iconoclast" that really gets me, especially if we're defining iconoclasm as the header does : "the destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments." This is by no means an inherently Muslim act; even "inherently aniconic" would, I think, be too strong. The phrasing at present denotes a concept of Islam as a religion that, as a fundamental tenet, requires the destruction of religious icons; and this does not match with reality. --Javits2000 15:14, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: a smart, general approach to the question may be found in G.R.D. King, "Islam, iconoclasm and the declaration of doctrine," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 48 (1985), 267-77; accessible on JSTOR. z.B.
It is possible that the Iconoclast party within Byzantine territory was encouraged to imitate Yazid's activities, but in terms of doctrine and iconography, iconoclasm had deeper roots within Christianity itself. It did not need Islam to invent Christian opposition to images; the extensive use of icons in the Christian world was sufficient to stimulate a profound objection to them among those Christians who felt that alien, pagan-like practices had intruded into their religion. As to charges made within the Christian world that iconoclasm was the creation of the Muslims or that Leo III and his supporters were 'Saracen-minded', these were more in the nature of insults than precise references to a theological position. Epithets cast at one another by disputing Christians do not necessarily signify a deep understanding of Islamic attitudes in a period when Byzantine knowledge of Islam was limited. (268).
--Javits2000 15:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Well I have taken "inherently iconoclastic" out for the moment. I think you're reading much more into the sentence than it says. Looking at the whole article, I'm dubious about the wider revisionist emphasis - to say:
"... destruction of the monumental statues of the Buddha at Bamyan by the Taliban in 2001 was widely perceived in the Western media as an inevitable result of the Islamic prohibition against figural decoration"

- seems clearly untrue to me(I have since removed the "inevitable" here). There should also be something about the recent destruction of buildings in Mecca (and added this - apparently no article on it though). India in general is not good territory for the revisionists.

If you like detailed disputes about wording, have a look at this [[2]] about this [[3]].

Johnbod 16:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I am being a bit touchy -- but if you tried teaching Islamic art to undergrads, you'ld be amazed how many are, well, amazed to discover that there are in fact pictures there -- indeed long traditions of figural art (e.g. Persian manuscript painting). And considering how many undergrads get their info from Wiki....
No problem at all with including any number of individual examples of iconoclasm within the Islamic world; just so long as it's understood that Islam is not intrinsically iconoclastic, and that the figural arts have been tolerated at certain times (if you've ever seen mosaics in a Byz. church, thank the Ottomans), and indeed actively promoted at others. The subject should be treated in historical and specific fashion, not in broad generalizations about world religions. --Javits2000 17:37, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Have you ever tried removing a mosaic 60 feet up? No, me neither, bathrooms are bad enough. But I'm sure whitewash or plaster are easier, as the Iconoclasts often found. Johnbod 18:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Germanus/os letters[edit]

Whilst we're on the subject, in this bit (1st outbreak section):

"Surviving letters Germanus wrote at the time say little of theology. According to Patricia Karlin-Hayter, what worried Germanus was that the ban of icons would only prove that the Church had been in error for a long time and so play into the hands of Jews and Muslims"[15]"

- do you know if there are other letters actually dating from "the time", as opposed to the letter(s) to the two Cappadocian bishops from before the outbreak, which I suspect this is referring to? If not, it should be rephrased a bit. Johnbod 18:34, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

There are writings (including a "testament," if I'm remembering correctly) attributed to Germanos, and supposed to have been written after his resignation. Best places to check: Haldon & Brubaker's Sources, or Stein's Der Beginn des byzantinischen Bilderstreites (Munich, 1978). Neither at hand -- will check next week if I have a chance. --Javits2000 18:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - they're beyond my grasp. it sounds to me like the reference is to the early letters. Johnbod 19:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

At present the last two paragraphs of the "sources" section under Byz. iconoclasm don't really deal with sources -- more with questions of public opinion & the origins of iconoclasm. A suggestion: should we perhaps add another header to set this off, for example "Origins of Iconoclasm"? This could in turn be expanded -- i.e. the question of icon worship before iconoclasm (the Kitzinger model & Brubaker); the Quinisext Council on images; the role of icons in the military defense of Byz. cities. --Javits2000 09:43, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

to be integrated[edit]

Serapeum - Christian destruction (388) of temple in Alexandria
Anglesey - Roman destruction of Druid shrine
Adalbert of Prague - Christian vs. Sacred Oaks
Martin of Tours - Christian vs. Sacred Tree
Leo IV and Irene (and the unfortunate Constantine VI) - for byzantine article
Tarasius

Reformation Iconoclasm Changes[edit]

On May 23rd, I edited, factually, the section to end in this manner:

Protestant Christianity, however, was not uniformly hostile to the use of religious images. Martin Luther argued that Christians should be free to use religious images as long as they did not worship them in the place of God. Zwingli and others for the sake of saving the Word rejected all plastic art; Luther, with an equal concern for the Word, but far more conservative, would have all the arts to be the servants of the Gospel.

“I am not of the opinion” said Luther, “that through the Gospel all the arts should be banished and driven away, as some zealots want to make us believe; but I wish to see them all, especially music, in the service of Him Who gave and created them.” Again he says: “I have myself heard those who oppose pictures, read from my German Bible. … But this contains many pictures of God, of the angels, of men, and of animals, especially in the Revelation of St. John, in the books of Moses, and in the book of Joshua. We therefore kindly beg these fanatics to permit us also to paint these pictures on the wall that they may be remembered and better understood, inasmuch as they can harm as little on the walls as in books. Would to God that I could persuade those who can afford it to paint the whole Bible on their houses, inside and outside, so that all might see; this would indeed be a Christian work. For I am convinced that it is God’s will that we should hear and learn what He has done, especially what Christ suffered. But when I hear these things and meditate upon them, I find it impossible not to picture them in my heart. Whether I want to or not, when I hear, of Christ, a human form hanging upon a cross rises up in my heart: just as I see my natural face reflected when I look into water. Now if it is not sinful for me to have Christ’s picture in my heart, why should it be sinful to have it before my eyes?”

I would like to know why my revision was reverted? -Paul Kiler, Pastor to Artists and Creatives, Missionary with Artists in Christian Testimony International paul.kiler (at) gmail.com Pkiler 21:06, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Not by me, but I might well have done. Much too long, given the very brief coverage of the subject we have. The first bit has been left. You might try The Reformation and Art.Johnbod 22:02, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Since no one has come forward to defend their edit in the past six weeks, like 'Doc Tropics' who removed my edit, I have reinstated it. - Paul Kiler —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pkiler (talkcontribs) 17:00, August 26, 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I would like to see this addition cited. I think it's quite helpful, but I'd like to know which of Luther's treatise(s) it comes from. -Christopher Luna christophermluna 21 October 2008 —Preceding undated comment was added at 19:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC).

Could not find which of Luther's writings were being quoted. However much of the selection, starting from the comment about Zwingli and including the Luther quotes, was lifted directly from a hundred year old essay by Jeremiah F. Ohl. I have changed it to a block quote and cited it. M.boli (talk) 12:32, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Deletions[edit]

As explained here the following was deleted in the article by Hornplease (talk · contribs) but no reason was put on the talkpage. Why was it deleted, and how could it be improved..

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iconoclasm&diff=prev&oldid=154852950 There is also evidence for destruction of icons by medieval Muslim rulers of South Asia. The most famous concerns a stone lingam, an aniconic representation of the Hindu god Shiva, which was housed in the temple complex at Somnath in Gujarat. According to a tradition preserved by the 16th century historian Mahommed Kasim Ferishta, the Ghaznavid emperor Mahmud of Ghazni raided Somnath in 1025, looting the temple. The temple Brahmins offered to buy the lingam back, but Mahmud refused, and his army carried it back to Ghazni. There the lingam was broken, and a portion of it was re-used as the threshold of the congregational mosque.[1]

What is wrong with Dr Flood? Or is the problem that the victims are polytheists? Librorum Prohibitorum (talk) 03:37, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

There is no question that the Muslim conquest of India was accompanied by enormous destruction of Buddhist and Hindu buildings and images, though there are far better known examples than the one you say is the "most famous" - the site of the Qutub Minar is already mentioned in the article, and the site of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya is all too well known. There are many more examples - some in Decline of Buddhism in India for example, most famously Nalanda. The question is to what extent these meet the definition at the head of the article:"Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives ..." since the commanders at least of the Muslim armies were mostly to some extent non-Indian in origin, and whether Muslim and Hindu or Buddhist culture were the same is a complicated question. The same issue arises with Muslim conquests elsewhere. Your edit is incorrect in at least one respect, and ignores the text on the question already in the article. Johnbod (talk) 10:48, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for responding. I am not so much attached to the particular version of the text above, but complained about the fact that some editors on wikipedia think they can remove everything they don't like from articles without any explanation on the talkpage (or bogus explanations). It happens a lot in India related articles, and this is just a minor example. Just look at the article histories of articles like Aurangzeb. Just as with the Armenina genocide, there are some people, even academics, who would like to deny some facts. Merry Christmas Librorum Prohibitorum (talk) 03:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Does 'iconoclasm' extend to non-visual icons?[edit]

I have in mind the occasional public destruction of recorded music, as is seen in the US since the 1950's, as outlined here: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14759.htm

Often books, videos and CDs are destroyed together: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bookburning/21stcentury/21stcentury.htm

There is already a Wiki article for book-burning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning but I can't seem to find one for recorded music. Is a broader merge indicated here?

131.81.37.22 (talk) 16:26, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this would be called iconoclasm; obviously the objections to images are of a particular kind. I think this would be classed with book-burning. Johnbod (talk) 16:48, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Destruction of Buddhas March 21 2001.jpg[edit]

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akward[edit]

this "Iconoclasm is the practice of destroying/ridiculing cultural icons or institutions or not being allowed to depict an icon within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives" is akward, at best74.192.12.135 (talk) 01:02, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is! Now changed back to the old version - I don't know when that happened. Thanks. Johnbod (talk) 01:33, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Look, this introductory section is all over the place. I'm gonna change it to make it less intricate, and more blunt. - Neveos —Preceding unsigned comment added by Neveos (talkcontribs) 03:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

French or Greek?[edit]

This page claims that 'Iconoclasm' is a French word. Yet Iconoclasm_(Byzantine) says that it is a Greek word. Is it both? NelC (talk) 20:14, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Contradiction on definition vs. examples[edit]

In the defining section in the top of the page "It is thus generally distinguished from the destruction by one culture of the images of another, for example by the Spanish in their American conquests. The term does not generally encompass the specific destruction of images of a ruler after his death or overthrow" yet in the very bottom an example from Baghdad is mentioned in which American soldiers tears down a statue of Saddam Hussein. --93.160.252.18 (talk) 10:37, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I've removed that & post-WW2 actions. This whole section is relatively recent & I'm not sure it really belongs here. I've added a bit to the lead. Johnbod (talk) 11:50, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Saddam Hussein[edit]

How about mentioning the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in the last section on "Political and revolutionary iconoclasm"?

Dagme (talk) 20:15, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Not iconoclasm as such - see the definition. Johnbod (talk) 20:36, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Too many images[edit]

In the section Reformation iconoclasm there are a little too many images. They should ideally be all at right, since any image at the left confuses the indentation structure, making it hard to perceive the quotes. I moved one image from floating to the left to float to the right. If anyone thinks that removing one or two superfluous images in that section is a good idea, then I will support the thinker in question. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:07, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't especially agree; a one-line gallery would be one solution. Johnbod (talk) 16:35, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Hindu section: largely a catalog of persecution?[edit]

The recent Hindu section updates seem (to me) mostly a catalog of persecution of Hindus, as opposed to instances of iconoclasm. These updates seem well-sourced and well-written, but I think they have been plunked into the wrong article. M.boli (talk) 12:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I know what you mean, but the destruction of temples with images at the least includes iconoclasm, though the word usually means destroying the images but leaving the building largely intact. I'm not sure the more thorough approach of some Indian Muslims can be excluded. Johnbod (talk) 12:52, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The article itself mentions several instances where artworks on several religious places are hit. It is similar. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 13:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Prosecution of Hindus is hardly mentioned. The substance mentioned strictly belongs to iconoclasm. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 13:46, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
And the section labeled Contemporary persecution is about what, if it isn't about contemporary Persecution of Hindus? M.boli (talk) 14:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
That is about contemporary Iconoclasm. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 14:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm not arguing for deleting the whole Hindu section. Aurangzeb destroyed Hindu religious symbols just as William Dowsing destroyed Catholic ones. It just seems to me that much of the included material---especially as it is mostly about riots, torture, edicts against language, and slaughter---is about a different evil and only tangentially related to an article about iconoclasm. I think it belongs to the other, arguably related, topic. Perhaps it would be appropriate to note that persecution of Hindus is often accompanied by large-scale destruction of Hindu religious icons, and then wiki-link the persecution article? M.boli (talk) 14:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

All that is irrelevant can be edited out. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 14:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree we should essentially stick to physical destruction, but it seems to me the present text largely does so - I'm not seeing that "much of the included material ...is mostly about riots, torture, edicts against language, and slaughter". Perhaps you could quote passages here? Johnbod (talk) 14:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that if rioting results in temples being destroyed, or stones thrown at a statue, or religious observance is prohibited, then these are acts of persecution, not iconoclasm. I've wiki-linked some examples:

  • In India, both paragraphs
  • In Fiji, whole thing: it about attacks on Hindus and the practice of Hinduism, the destruction of Hindu icons is incidental.
  • In Pakistan, paragraphs 2 and 4
  • Goa Inquisitions section (which is not part of the contemporary persecution section), I think about half of it is not germane to the topic of iconoclasm.

Anyway, I don't feel strongly about this. Just article maintenance. M.boli (talk) 15:23, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Unless state-sponsored, iconoclasm is usually accompanied by riots - see Beeldenstorm. How "incidental" the destruction is is often too subjective to judge; some coverage of the background is also desirable. I agree the 2 paras on India - both incidents from 2010- are at the least too detailed, and should probably be in a different article (maybe they are). We can't cover the whole world (Cairo last week, Nigeria etc) at this level of detail, & I agree this is usually not iconoclasm per se. Pakistan & Fiji could perhaps be trimmed. I've removed the "non-image" Goan stuff. Johnbod (talk) 15:37, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Edited as suggested. ..असक्तः सततं कार्य कर्म समाचर | असक्तः हि आचरन् कर्म.. Humour Thisthat2011 15:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Zowie! Thanks, folks. So many people seem to think the Talk: page is a hell to which they are consigned for a short period after the 3RR article block and before the ANI account block. It is nice to be reminded most Wikipedians are working together on a common endeavor. M.boli (talk) 16:13, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Also: Hindu practice is infused with murthis and icons of many types. (It seemed to me during my brief trip to India that the average lorry driver had one or two within reach at all times.) So my thought above that persecution of Hindus is often accompanied by large scale destruction of Hindu icons---the visible symbols of Hinduism---would seem to be the kind of thing worth mentioning in this article. Haven't noticed any reliable source however, so I won't edit such a sentence into the article. M.boli (talk) 16:33, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

The same is true of medieval Catholicism, Tibetan Buddhism, probably Roman pagan religion and so on. Johnbod (talk) 16:36, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Aye, aye, Cap'n. I'll stop running off at the mouth now. M.boli (talk) 16:41, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Christian and Manichean iconoclasm older than Islamic iconoclasm.[edit]

Here I intend iconoclasm in opposition of iconodules (Do not worshipers of images), No explicitly in destructive sense

The iconoclasm was not characteristic of the first Islam indeed I remember the mosaics of the Dome of the Rock, the mosque of Damascus and the ruins of the Umayyad palaces in the Syrian desert. There are lot of animals figures. Only with the Abbasid Caliphate iconosclas became common in all Islam. I remember that iconoclasm was present in the late Roman Empire in various Christian heresies and in Manicheism, moreover it has always been present in Judaism that obviously influenced Christianism and Islam. Many Christians of Syria and Egypt that were converted to Islam often in opposition to Byzantium, were iconoclasts. There were many anti-Trinitarians in Syria. They never accepted Nicaea. The Islam of Four Rightly Guided Caliphs was exit from Arabia with almost no theology but with simple dogmas. So it is not the iconoclasm of Islam that has influenced the Byzantine iconoclasm. But it is late Roman Empire iconoclasm that influenced Islam iconoclasm. Finally I remember that during the short period of iconoclasm power in Byzantium the Exarchate of Ravenna definitively broke away from Byzantium. Hovewer also in western side the iconoclasm remain latent. I remember the Cathar, Albigenses heresies and some currents into Cattolic church for example the Franciscan spirituals. All well before Protestantism. All these movements are heavily influenced by the idea of the early Christians comunities in which iconoclasm often was in opposition pagan “iconodulia”. It is no coincidence that there are many beautiful classical statues without heads ..... and sculpture and painting are so decayed. --Andriolo (talk) 18:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)--84.223.58.180 (talk) 18:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Only an example of Umayyad figurative to see here: Qasr Amra --Andriolo (talk) 18:35, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

About the destruction of temples of different religions I think it's a different topic, the topic of the damnatio memoriae.

Chinese iconoclasm[edit]

I nominated the section "Chinese iconoclasm" for neutrality review, particularly for the following statement:

"Muslims do not believe in superstition (see Shirk (Islam)) and his religion may have influenced Bai to take action against the idols in the temples and the superstitious practices in China."

Claiming particular Islamic proscriptions are irreconcilable with rituals of the faith(s) practiced in the temples destroyed by Bai Chongxi, that such irreconcilability was significant to Bai, and that his actions were facilitated by his "inherently anti-superstitious Islamic perspective" is not neutral. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.175.5.220 (talk) 04:57, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

The section is neutral. It merely says that Bai's religion may have influenced his zeal in the Kuomintang [Guomindang] campaign in 1926 to suppress temples and practices denounced as superstitious. The source cited, the work of historian Diana Lary, is consistent with the statement made in this article. And Lary is a reputable and respected scholar of China in this period and region. --Pechmerle (talk) 04:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Islamic influence on Byzantine iconoclasm[edit]

I realise this has already addressed above, but I feel this subject is important and should be treated more explicitly. However, the treatment of this question in the article Byzantine iconoclasm is unsatisfying and insufficient, in my opinion. Note that Aniconism in Christianity#Byzantine iconoclasm says:

The political aspects of the conflicts are complex, involving with the relationship between the Byzantine Emperors, the Orthodox Church councils, and the Pope. There has been much scholarly discussion over the possible influence on the Iconoclasts of the aniconism in Islam, the century-old religion which had inflicted devastating defeats on Byzantium in the decades preceding. Most scholars reject direct religious influence, though many feel the feeling of crisis produced by defeats at the hands of Islam contributed to the Iconoclast movement.

If the issue has been so intensely discussed in the literature, there should be plenty of sources to cite, and a fuller treatment of the subject should be possible; enough to merit a separate section in Byzantine iconoclasm. Also, Iconoclasm#Byzantine iconoclasm says:

In the Byzantine Empire, iconoclasm began with Emperor Leo III. Apart from the purely religious conflict, it created political and economic divisions in Byzantine society; it was generally supported by the Eastern, poorer, non-Greek peoples of the Empire [...] who had to constantly deal with Arabic raids. On the other hand, the wealthier Greeks of Constantinople, and also the peoples of the Balkan and Italian provinces, strongly opposed iconoclasm. [...]
The use of images had probably been increasing in the years leading up to the outbreak of iconoclasm. One notable change came in 695, when Justinian II put a full-face image of Christ on the obverse of his gold coins. The effect on iconoclast opinion is unknown, but the change caused Caliph Abd al-Malik to stop his earlier adoption of Byzantine coin types. He started a purely Islamic coinage with lettering only. [...]

This is a pretty suggestive correlation, to say the least. The idea that the successes of Islam had something to do with the movement is hardly unreasonable, and the second paragraph is evidence enough that Islam was in fact adverse to (especially religious) images in the period in question. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:29, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think anyone doubted the last point, did they? Johnbod (talk) 19:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Information Suppression[edit]

Please stop deleting this paragraph. It is a summary of an article from a peer-review academic journal (with noted scholar Norman Geisler being one of the editors). The author has a Ph.D. in church history and the editors have relevant degrees. Just because you don't like what it says doesn't mean you can delete it and then accuse those who restore it of "edit warring." The paragraph could probably use some copy-editing, maybe even condensing, but to delete a reference to one of the few articles on iconoclasm in a wiki page on iconoclasm is unwarranted.

==Iconoclasm in early Christianity==

John B. Carpenter argues that the early church inherited the opposition to icons in second temple, Talmudic Judaism, and opposed icons through the fourth century.[2] Hence, early Christians were accused of being "atheists" by Romans who assumed the absence of images meant the absence of belief in gods.[3] Origen (184-254) responded to the charge of "atheism" by admitting that Christians did not use images in worship, following the Second Commandment.[4] Canon 36 of the Council of Elvira (c. 305) states, “Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration.” About the year 327 the early church historian Eusebius (c. AD 263 – 339) wrote, "To depict purely the human form of Christ before its transformation, on the other hand, is to break the commandment of God and to fall into pagan error."[5] Epiphanius (inter 310–320 – 403), bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus wrote, in Letter 51 (c. 394), to John, Bishop of Jerusalem about an incident of finding an image in a church in his jurisdiction: "I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loath that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ's church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person." He goes on to tell John that such images are “contrary to our religion” and to instruct the presbyter of the church that such images are “an occasion of offense.”[6] The issue of icons in eastern Christianity was only settled at the second "Seventh Ecumenical Council," in 787, leading Carpenter to conclude that that council marks the true beginning of Eastern Orthodoxy with it's prominent use of icons.[7] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.53.88.54 (talk) 15:00, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

No, we won't! The proper article for this is Aniconism in Christianity where the matter is already dealt with in greater detail using specialist sources, which you/Carpenter can't claim to be. The conclusion that "that council marks the true beginning of Eastern Orthodoxy with it's prominent use of icons" is all but WP:FRINGE and belongs to religious polemic rather than an article on a historical subject. The manifesto of the "International Society of Christian Apologetics" is clear from its website, which comes complete with a doctrinal statement. People may want to see Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard#Multiple_religious_articles_related_to_Eastern_Orthodoxy and Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Yeoberry (where this ISP says he is Yeoberry). Johnbod (talk) 16:29, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Inconsistency in section on Muslim Iconoclasm[edit]

The section on Muslim Iconoclasm appears to be inconsistent with the definition of iconoclasm in the first sentence of the article:

Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives.

The examples of iconoclasm in the section on Muslim Iconoclasm are examples of destruction against non-Muslim images and are thus not examples of "deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments." It would appear that, either the definition of iconoclasm should be changed or the section on Muslim Iconoclasm should be rewritten to be limited to covering examples of destruction of Muslim religious symbols, which may include examples such as the destruction of Sufi shrines but which would not include examples of the destruction of non-Muslim artifacts which fill up this section. A discussion of the destruction by Muslims of non-Muslim artifacts may belong in a different article. -- Bob (Bob99 (talk) 14:06, 13 September 2013 (UTC))

No - the "culture" is Indian, Afghan etc, not "Muslim". Just as in the Reformation, the culture is English, French etc, not "Protestant". But eg Viking destruction of Irish or Anglo-Saxon images etc is not iconoclasm. Johnbod (talk) 14:16, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I believe you are incorrect. The term "culture" is not a term that is defined by the boundaries of nation-states, and your usage of the term is inconsistent with, for example, the Wikipedia article on Culture. Some nation-states may have multiple cultures, and some cultures may span multiple nation-states. Indeed, with specific reference to Muslim Iconoclasm, I don't think there is any doubt that "Muslim" is a term that describes a particular group of cultures and sub-cultures, especially in countries of Asia and North Africa with long-established Muslim populations.
Also, with regard to the example of the Viking destruction of Irish or Anglo-Saxon images, the destruction the Vikings wrought was for plunder and was not for religious or political motives. Furthermore, the Viking destruction did not become iconoclasm over time, even though generations of Viking settlers stayed in Ireland and Great Britain and became part of the culture there, because the motivation of the Vikings was simple plunder. -- Bob (Bob99 (talk) 18:21, 15 September 2013 (UTC))
Well actually the scholarly thinking is that Viking destruction had a considerable anti-Christian element, & went well beyond mere plunder. Culture is an elastic term, & I have indicated the sense in which it is used here. Of course, "Muslim culture" also exists, but that does not mean Indian culture does not. Johnbod (talk) 20:01, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure culture is so "flexible" as to be able to mean anything. And if it is so flexible that it doesn't have a specific referent, it shouldn't be used to define iconoclasm in this article. A definition has to define. -- Bob (Bob99 (talk) 21:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC))

Syria[edit]

Would this [4] deserve to be mentioned? Recent event, but old stuff. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:51, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Blind, warped, biased and misleading article[edit]

Redirects here = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iconoclastic

This article utterly ignores the far more common non-religious usage of the words: Iconoclastic and Iconoclasim. Collins Dictionary does not even have your religious definition. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/iconoclastic Oxford Dictionaries does not have it under "Iconoclastic," but has it as Def2 under "Iconoclasm." http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/iconoclastic iconoclasm NOUN 1The action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices. 2The rejection or destruction of religious images as heretical; the doctrine of iconoclasts.

Since the main (real) definition is non-religious, that should be in the opening paragraph, along with a warning that the remainder of the article is about the uncommon (obscure?) religious definition. "Uncommon?" I've studied the Bible, World Religion, + arguments etc, and never heard your definition. I suspect it's used mostly by Catholics?

Here are 28 definitions: http://www.onelook.com/?w=Iconoclastic&ls=a Please fix. Thanks!
--71.137.156.36 (talk) 20:09, 12 April 2014 (UTC)Doug Bashford

The article is called "Iconoclasm". There is no question what the original and main meaning of this word is. That the adjective (mainly) has acquired a metaphorical second meaning, mainly found in journalese, was mentioned in the 2nd para of the lead, if you had bothered reading it, but there is not much to say about it. In the big OED "the breaking or destroying of images" is the primary meaning given for iconoclasm, with iconoclast & iconoclastic matching. Johnbod (talk) 20:56, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
This article is not protected in any way from being edited by you or others. Go ahead and fix it yourself and let us determine if your contributions can be kept or improved. It's really rather easy. Elizium23 (talk) 21:08, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
The "Opening paragraph....should establish the context in which the topic is being considered..." MOS:BEGIN
    I wonder if Johnbod would also argue that the original and main meaning of "meal" is still ground grain? —Mainly found in "journalese"!!???— Chuckle.
Thanks for your suggestion/challenge, Elizium23. It's good to see the Wiki spirit survives here. I often edit several Wiki articles per day, and in time I've learned to recognize "owned articles" (vested interests?). Yes the editing would be simple, indeed most of the needed citations & arguments are above —wink?—. But unlike some authors here, I prolly don't care enough about this word to battle Johnbod's "logic," much less to "do battle." (I feel time and reality are on our side, no hurries, just happy suggestions & Wiki policy.)
Possibly just swapping the first two paragraphs, then adding a sentence on the word's etymology and the above warning regarding this article's religiously based context/emphasis could do it. Cheers!
--71.137.156.36 (talk) 01:39, 13 April 2014 (UTC) Doug Bashford
It's done already. The breaking of images is a subject, the figurative meaning just a vague adjective, with nothing much encyclopedic to add. Johnbod (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

oh dear. The article lead clearly states it is going to be "the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments". It then goes on to present lengthy pieces on "iconoclasm against Hindus" and "Chinese anti-foreignism".

Of course the word "iconoclasm" has also wider applications, including figurative ones. Take it to Wiktionary. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and this is supposed to be the article about actual iconoclasm, not a random collection of incidents where "images were broken". --dab (𒁳) 05:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ F.B. Flood, "Between cult and culture: Bamiyan, Islamic iconoclasm, and the museum," The Art Bulletin 84 (2002), 650.
  2. ^ John B. Carpenter, "Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church," Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2013, pp. 107-122.
  3. ^ For example, Martyrdom of Polycarp, chapter 9; cited by John B. Carpenter, "Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church," Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2013, p. 111.
  4. ^ Origin, Contra Celsus, Book VII, Chapter 64; according to John B. Carpenter, "Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church," Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2013, p. 112.
  5. ^ David M. Gwynn, From Iconoclasm to Arianism: The Construction of Christian Tradition in the Iconoclast Controversy [Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 47 (2007) 225–251], p. 227.
  6. ^ John B. Carpenter, "Icons and the Eastern Orthodox Claim to Continuity with the Early Church," Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2013, p. 118.
  7. ^ Carpenter, ibid., p. 121.