Mia M. Mochizuki
Understanding iconoclasm simply as the breaking of images fails to adequately address why reformers of all eras have sought to decapitate, maim, and otherwise erase sacred art. This chapter takes a long view of iconoclasm as the active interrogation of objects by objects—through case studies from ancient, medieval, and reformation art to today’s contemporary crises—to consider the power of religious art from the frankly object-centered perspective of “applied criticism,” censorship, and renunciation. Following a chronological overview of the many historical iconoclasms, it weighs the issues at stake through the lens of close looking, before closing with a range of objects whose hammer’s inflections intimate the potency of a methodology premised on fertile absence. Interpretation via the matrix of lack, fragility, and mystery is the proposition iconoclasm tenders whenever art and religion intersect.
Leonard J. Swidler
In the past, every civilization always had at its heart a religion, “an explanation of the ultimate meaning of life, and how to live accordingly, based on some notion of the transcendent.” The religion both shaped and reflected the values of the civilization: Islam for the Islamic civilization, Christianity for Christendom, Hinduism for Indian civilization, Marxism (ideology, as the functional equivalent of religion) for the Soviet civilization, and so on. However, in the now emerging global civilization, the question asks itself: What will be the religion at its heart? The answer can only be that religion (ideology)-in-dialogue will be the religion at the heart of the emerging global civilization. Religion (ideology) has five elements: the four C's of creed, code, cult, and community structure; and some notion of the transcendent. There are four main dimensions to dialogue, four H's corresponding to the structure of our humanness: dialogue of the Head, dialogue of the Hands, dialogue of the Heart, and dialogue of Holiness. This article examines religious diversity and proposes a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic.
This chapter deals with shariah in Europe from two different angles. It links the debate about the application of shariah norms on European soil with the legal aspects regarding the scope and limits of such application. Both the term and the perception of shariah in Europe are clarified. The second part of the chapter deals with the legal situation in Europe regarding the formal and informal application of shariah rules, be they religious or legal ones, in different fields of law, such as civil law, public law, penal law, and public international law. The chapter concludes by summarizing observations and remarking on research desiderata.