Discussion is about Iconoclasm and Culture Destruction. Please follow the instructions below and use the attached resoures when writing this disucssion:-
Discussion Forum #4:Iconoclasm and Cultural Desecration:
In classes that involve the discussion of art and images, one of the assumptions is that the objects have a great deal of cultural value.This is presumed to be true even if their materials are not valuable, and even if their original function was not as a work of art, but as a devotional one.Clearly, images can have a great deal of power over viewers, and can spark highly emotional reactions.Architecture can be included in this category also, as the built environment and space are culturally and religiously important.
This assignment is rather topical, thus I want to put some current and past events involving iconoclasm, (lit. the smashing of images), into context, and have you think about and discuss them.I briefly covered in class the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 by the Taliban. More recent issues cover the destruction of Islamic tombs and Assyrian monuments by ISIS, and the removal of Civil War monuments in the United States.Please read the following materials, and comment on the ones that you find most interesting.Please be respectful, as this is difficult material and I do not wish for anyone to feel attacked or offended.
Things to think about for yourself: Do you come from a cultural background in which images are used for worship and if so, in what ways does incorporating images into worship assist your spiritual experience?
Do you come from a cultural background in which images are not used or are proscribed for worship and if not, is there anything (buildings/space, text, liturgy etc.,that assists your spiritual experience?
Issues to Comment On:
What did you find interesting or noteworthy in these readings? How do past cross-cultural examples of iconoclasm and cultural desecration relate to current events?
What causes people to destroy images?Is it ever justified?
1. Read the Wikipedia article on iconoclasm and note that iconoclasm has been practiced by many religions or cultures throughout history, often as a means to wield power and sometimes as a result of deeply held cultural beliefs.
This article on iconoclasm is very interesting and will provide important cross-cultural background:
2. History of and Islamic Response to the Destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas
3. Desecration of Islamic Sufi monuments in Mali, including some statements of justification of the destruction:
4. Jeff Sparrow from Australia commenting on destruction in 2014:
5. Dell Upton (professor, UCLA) on Civil War monuments.You may also want to look at the Wikipedia article â€œRemoval of Confederate monuments and memorialsâ€ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Removal_of_Confederate_monuments_and_memorials
5a. Opinions on the other side:
Janeen Bryant et. al., â€œAre Museums the Right Homes for Confederate Monuments,â€ Smithsonian Magazine,â€ May 7 2018 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/are-museums-right-home-confederate-monuments-180968969/
John Daniel Davidson:https://thefederalist.com/2017/08/18/in-defense-of-the-monuments/
What do you think about the removal of Civil War monuments? There are many sides to this issue.
6. Oleg Grabar on the history of depictions of the Prophet Muhammed, pdf in the folder.
7. Optional reading by David Freedburg, reacting to the Bamiyan Buddha incident, but making some interesting points about the power of images (he wrote a book on the subject)