Friday, May 6, 2011

Why does the biblical text prohibit making Images?

Following the question on ZigZag yesterday, here are a few thoughts. First, I think this ban is in the text because God already has his image represented in humanity on the earth. We are the corporeal images of the incorporeal God. Humans image God. Second, there is a risk in image making that we will defy both God and humanity by the worship of images. But it seems to me that the problem is not with image making per se. Why? Creativity and imagination are part of being human and imaging God and therefore making images can’t be necessarily wrong. As I see it, this thorny issue concerns the who, the what, and the why of image making. That is, an image can be fitting and appropriate if it’s not out to place a who above God, to install a what in exchange for God, or to set up a why that rejects God. The making of images can be an augmentation of reality, and as long as the image is not misplaced in its value or virtue, there should be an incentive to create and imagine aright and  therefore no problem with the validity of images.