Person, anthropomorphism, idololatry

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Savu Totu


The iconoclastic controversy has been covered extensively and from many perspectives. The multitude of theoretical perspectives and of views expressed in relation to the highly complex subject of holy imagery is well known to the experts from this field (whose multiple approaches, of a theological, philosophical, historical or aesthetical nature, support a high variety of analytical outlooks). The presentation of the relevant aspects concerning the notion of “person”, from the theological perspective of the icon, and of the relevant theological aspects concerning anthropomorphism, as the main source of idololatry described through the relation between image and word, could comprise one of the analytical frameworks applied to the iconoclastic controversy.I have chosen this approach based on the criticism expressed by a Greek theologian and iconologist against the general views of Russian iconologists and theologians (Uspensky mainly), who distinguished between the meaning and the content of the icon. In the context of ideological “dispute”, I will attempt to re-evaluate several aspects of the iconoclastic controversy, while aiming to emphasize how significant it is to appropriate the image to the word, from a philosophical perspective, but most importantly from the perspective of the theology of the icon, in order to understand idololatry as the result of applying philosophical thought to a strictly religious issue.

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TOTU, Savu. Person, anthropomorphism, idololatry. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 61, n. 1, june 2015. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 july 2021.