Peter van der Veer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Göttingen, Germany and Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University. He is the author of several books, including
The Afterlife of Images
This chapter goes to the heart of civilization practice, namely the religious worship of images in India and China and especially the recurrent campaigns to destroy them. It examines the variegated histories of iconoclasm in India and China and the problem of sovereignty that is central to them. The chapter moves on to discuss the extent to which modern urban planning can be understood as a form of iconoclasm.