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What is the meaning of Iconoclast? Concept and Definition of Iconoclast

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Definition of iconoclast


1. Concept of iconoclast

Etymologically, the iconoclastic refers to who practice the iconoclasm, i.e. to who destroys paintings or sculptures sacred (icons). An example of iconoclasm was the Byzantine tradition, especially of León III, who ordered the destruction of all representations of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and, especially, of the Saints. In colloquial language used also to refer to the person that goes against the current and whose behavior is contrary to the ideals, standards or models or statutes of society or to the authority of teachers within this, unless it involves a negative connotation of his figure. The beliefs of the iconoclasts are contrary to the one of the iconodulos. Iconodule or iconodule to the veneration (dulia) of images (icons) is called. In Catholicism differs from the idolatry that the latter has a heretical character, and therefore it is pursued by the predominant religion. However, the iconodule would not be pursued, but that according to Catholic doctrine, would be consistent with the religious precepts, its practitioners to receive the name of iconodulos.

Iconoclasm in the Byzantine field

Emperor León III the Isaurio forbade the worship of images representing Christ and the Saints in 726. He did it for religious and political reasons. His son, Constantine V (741-775), inherited a serious confrontation between the population mostly in favour of the use of images and the official position, finally ended using its military power.
After the second Council of Nicaea in 787 said the veneration of icons, based on the incarnation of Jesus Christ in man.
The Emperor Leon V (813-820) established a second period of struggles in 813, continued by the following emperors to Theophilus. Die this, his wife Theodora mobilized the iconodulos and proclaimed the restoration of icons in 843.

Iconoclastic in the Islamic area

Muslims have the prohibition to depict human figures in mosques, not the general prohibition of the use of the human figure in other areas, as they exemplify the testimonies have preserved in the so-called palaces of desert.
Anyway, has always been completely forbidden to represent divine images (in fact, in the representations of Muhammad his face never appears).

Iconoclastic in the Protestant area

Some Protestant congregations come in reverence to the images a manifestation of idolatry (or cult of images) by the mandate given in the Bible in the book of exodus Chapter 20:
...You do not image, or any likeness of what is up in the sky, down on the ground or in the water under the Earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; because I am the Lord your God, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and do mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments...
Reason by which are contrary to this religious practice, express their disapproval and rejection of the Catholic tradition.

Contemporary iconoclasts

• Government taliban in Afghanistan: destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan


2. Meaning of iconoclast

Iconoclasm, expression which in Greek means «rupture of images», is the deliberate destruction within a culture of culture itself religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political reasons. The Royal Academy defines it as the "doctrine of iconoclasm" and at the same time points out that "iconoclast" comes from εικονοκλάστης, groundbreaking images, and is defined as such in particular to the «heretic of the 8th century, which denied the cult because of the sacred images, destroying them and persecuted those who worship them». The iconoclasm is a frequent component of major political or religious changes that occur inside of a society. It is therefore something that is normally distinguished from destruction by a culture of images, for example, by the Spaniards in their conquests of the Americas. The term generally does not cover the specific destruction of images of a ruler after his death or overthrow (damnatio memoriae), for example Akhenaten in ancient Egypt.
The term "iconoclastic" has finished applying figurative way to anyone who breaks with the dogmas or established conventions or despises them.
The term opposed "iconoclast" is «iconodulo», which comes from the Word «icon» (picture) and "dulia" (worship). The heresy opposite both doctrines, the iconoclasm and the iconodule, is idolatry, in which images or figures are worshipped in themselves, rather than to revere them as a representation of what is worshipped. In the context of the Byzantine Empire the term used is primarily iconodulos, although it can also be written «iconofilos».
The iconoclasm can be carried out by people of different religion, but is often the result of sectarian disputes between factions of the same religion. In Christianity, the iconoclasm was motivated mainly by a literal interpretation of the ten commandments, which forbid the making and veneration of "graven images". The two most serious outbreaks of iconoclasm occurred in the Byzantine Empire during the 8th and 9th centuries are unusual in the sense that the dispute focused on the use of the images, rather than being a secondary product of deeper concerns.
As with other doctrinal issues in the Byzantine period, the controversy was not in any way restricted to the ecclesiastical field, or theological arguments. The continuing cultural confrontation with Islam, and the military threat that the latter represented, probably had to do in the attitudes of both sides. It seems that the iconoclasm supported it mostly people from the eastern part of the Empire and refugees from the provinces taken by the Muslims. They have indicated as important factors, both at the beginning and at the end of the imperial support for iconoclasm, its strength in the army at the beginning of this period, and the growing influence of Balkan forces in the Army (which was considered in general that lacked strong iconoclastic feelings) over the period.
The use of images probably had grown in the years leading up to the outbreak of the iconoclasm. A notable change came in 695, Justinian II, who put the face of Christ in the back of their gold coins. The effect of the iconoclast opinion is unknown, but certainly change caused Caliph Abd al - Malik to break permanently with his previous adoption of Byzantine coin types and began a coinage of genuinely Islamic currency that had been only words. A letter from the Patriarch Germano written before 726 to two iconoclastic Bishops says that "entire cities and many people are now in considerable agitation over this issue» but there is little evidence of the growth of the debate.


3. What is iconoclast

Known as iconoclast, Word that comes from the Greek word εἰκονοκλάστης "eikonoklastes" (where "eikon" means image"and"klo"is translated as destroy or break; to the heretical religious movement that developed in the Byzantine Empire, perhaps under the influence of Islamic and Jewish, from the 8th century, characterized by opposing the existence of icons, or images that are the object of worship in the worshipthat was defended by the contrary position known as iconodule.
Was the Emperor León III, nicknamed "the Isaurio", who reigned from the year 717, until the date of his death in the year 741, which began this persecution to the worship of images, dictating various decrees between 726 and 739, in order to gain spiritual purity. But in the East, had enough adhesion, in Greece there were several uprisings.
Before the condemnation of Pope Gregorio III iconoclasm, broke the relationship with Rome.
At the second Council of Nicaea, which took place in the year 787, defended the cult of images.
Emperor León V "Armenian", who ruled between the 813 and 820, cracked down severely on the iconodulios, but in the year 843, defeated supporters of the worship of icons, when Theodora, in exercise of the Regency of his younger son, the Emperor Miguel III, met a Synod which thus decided it.
Although Protestantism also condemned the worship of images, the Catholic Church reaffirmed its legitimacy in the Council of Trent in the 16th century.
By extension, applies the term iconoclast, who denies pre-established rules as guidelines.

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