Monday, December 4, 2017

Reflection for the Week - December 4

Here are a few reflections on the biblical text and its prohibition (Ex. 20; Dt. 4 and the like) of making images. First, I think this ban is in the text because God already has an image: humanity. We are the corporeal images of the incorporeal God. All humans image God. Second, there is a risk that we will defy both God and humanity in the worship of made images. Yet it seems to me that the problem is not with image making per se. Why? Creativity and imagination are part of being human and therefore making images may enhance life, rather than detract from it. As I see it, this thorny issue concerns the who, the what, and the why of image making. That is, making 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. Building off this, I’d wager the making of images can be understood as a fascinating augmentation of reality, and thus as long as they are not misplaced in value or virtue, there should be, potentially at least, a perceptive openness to their validity.