Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Posted by Jim Watts
The image of a burning Bible appeared multiple times Wednesday in a German TV documentary about Christian fundamentalism. Bild, in a report headlined "TV-Skandal!" picked up by other German media, asked several political and church leaders if one is allowed to do this, getting predictably critical answers. One commented on how much greater the negative reaction would be if it had been a Qur'an: "Was wäre wohl in Deutschland los, wenn die ARD einen brennenden Koran gezeigt hätte?"
It is worth noting the different standards and practices revolving around the iconic use and misuse of scriptures--and how they change over time and influence each other across religious boundaries. The Western media attention to Qur'an desecration over the last few years has heightened some people's sensibilities about other sacred texts and leads one to wonder about the differences.