This is a meditation on the assertion by Cornelius Castoriadis that “every religion is idolatry.” Idolatry here is configured beyond the conventional understanding of the idol as a concrete object of worship which works within the logic of representation. In monotheism, even the unrepresentable—or, perhaps, especially the unrepresentable—is an idol, an object of worship that is otherwise silenced by a language that claims to worship a nonobject. In this sense, the prohibition of images in monotheism (Bildverbot) is a highly sophisticated mode of idolatry.
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Stathis Gourgouris; Idolatry, Prohibition, Unrepresentability. boundary 2 1 February 2013; 40 (1): 137–153. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2072900
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