Statues as channels of divine presence

Alain Besancon writes:

The biblical texts directly targeted popular idolatry, which confused God and the idol. For example, images were taken to the sites of battles and shared the arm’s fate. Pausanias reports the case of images that were chained to restrain the god, and of images that were mistreated when it was necessary to punish him. The theologians of paganism took care to avoid that confusion, however: the idol was only the image, the representation, of the deity. They argued that worship and honor were not directed toward the image, but toward the deity of which it was the image (that argument was later adopted by Christian iconodules). All the same, they admitted that the gods inhabited the statues through their pneuma and that this inhabitation made them venerable and beneficient (Besancon 66).






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *