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Icons Images and Idols - Sacred Image, Icon As Revelation, Idol And Idolatry, Islam And Shirk, To See Her Face

terms history central ideas

Placing the words images, icons, and idols together as the subject of an entry that seeks to articulate the perspective of world culture suggests their intimate relationship. Such a grouping also demands that an emphasis be placed on the particular role biblical religions have had in the development and use of the last two terms, the ideas of "icon" and "idol" that play off each other and highlight a central idea of the "image" in the three traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—commonly characterized as monotheistic. While all three terms have come to be used by scholars in their analysis of many cultures, the terms icon and idol have a specific and central place in the discourse on images in the cultural history and the history of ideas in the West. The notion of idol and idolatry was carried to many parts of the world with the Christian and Muslim mission movements and entered local vocabularies through this means.

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