Natalie Carnes Making, Breaking, Loving, and Hating Images Prelude to a Theology of Iconoclasm It may well indicate we are lost in a dark wood of idolatries and iconoclasms when two sophisticated and much-lauded scholars sketch, in the same year, opposite cartographies of these landscapes. In historian James Simpson's book Under the Hammer (Oxford 2010), the way of iconoclasm inevitably begets further image breaking, while anthropologist Bruno Latour insists in his book On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods (Duke 2010) that the path of iconoclasm generates, despite itself, further image making. There are ways their stories converge, too, but such convergences occur largely over the ambiguities of iconoclasm. What makes iconoclasm so tangled and rough, so difficult to discern and describe? I suggest that, anesthetized for decades--centuries, even--to our own iconoclasm, we Westerners are still full of sleep as we grope toward a path through icons, images, and idols. My goal with this article is not to shine a beam of clarity onto iconoclasm. It is instead to do two things. First, I want to awaken us to the ways that it is more difficult than it may at first appear to identify iconoclasm. In doing
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture – Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Published: Mar 30, 2013
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