Saturday, 24 October 2015

Graven Images?

Fascinating interview with Vatican based lay scholar Dr Christopher Longhurst on, among other things, why "graven images" are okay in Western Christianity, in contrast to Islam and Judaism.

RNZ's Kim Hill presses the issue, but Longhurst is up to it. It's a perspective that isn't often heard outside of Catholicism. No need to rush out and buy a crucifix for wall art, but perhaps those of us with iconoclastic tendencies might feel a little more able to chill out when we see the next Madonna and child artwork

Also covered is the often raised issue of all that amazing art work owned by the Vatican, and why it shouldn't be sold off to alleviate poverty.

1 comment:

  1. Now, now, Catholics have told me that they do not commit idolatry -- and you can't prove they do because it's the attitude of the mind, and, if you cannot see into their brains, then you can't prove they are committing it.

    But that's not what Scripture says: Thou shalt make graven images. Forget the idolatry stuff. You're not supposed to have graven images or bow down to them. Maybe you aren't committing idolatry when, say, you kneel before a statue of Mary, but you're still not off the hook.

    Catholics have resolved this problem by eliminating the 'graven images' thing from the Ten Commandments and doubled down on covet. And the Lutherans have followed suit, totally screwing up the 10 Commandments. Of course, if you weigh in with the Jews, they have a different take on the First Commandment.

    Why not sell off the artwork in the Vatican? Well, wouldn't you just move the idols around to cause someone else to sin? And haven't you seen what happens with giveaway programs to the poor? It's a money pit and the more you give the more they take -- often without removing the base problem that makes them poor.

    I guess you could teach the poor how to make idols and they could sell them to the Vatican and that would solve the problems underlying the situation of the poor.

    Now which Madonna are you talking about, because if it's the singer, I just don't see the problem.

    Just remember that to Islam, anyone with graven images is an infidel and Islam is quite the growing group. Maybe it would be wise to be on the safe side....