Home Forums Iconoclasm Iconoclasm Reply To: Iconoclasm

Rachel Nelson

The Byzantine empire is practically a theocracy. While it might not truly be run by the church, the culture and daily life is so steeped in religion- perhaps even more so then other polytheistic civilizations- it may as well be. Virtually all the art depicts religious scenes, even the architecture mimic Greek temples. Great cathedrals are constructed for worship and embellished with more religious art. I think the Second Commandment plays a little into the fact there is virtually no art that is not religious, but faith also seems to govern far more than just the art in this time period. The conflict arises when the art itself becomes the object of worship. The First commandment states fairly clearly nothing should be worshiped other than God, so the worship of these icons is in direct violation of the religion they were created to further by storytelling and passing on the faith from generation to generation. Especially in instances where icons were acclaimed to “perform miracles’ instead of seeing it as God performing miracles through icons, which would have gone along with the religion’s doctrine.