European Moments in the Making of Islam's Image Problem

12:30 pm
Event Status
As Scheduled
Hosted by the Humanities Center and visiting fellow, Finbarr Barry Flood. This event will be hybrid, so you can attend it either in person in 602 CL or via Zoom as you prefer. The image of Islam in the West has been consistently informed by the idea that the religion fosters distinctive attitudes towards the image. Recent controversies about Islam, aniconism and iconoclasm are typical in this respect, often taking the idea of an Islamic Bilderverbot (image prohibition) as a given. Seen from the perspective of the longue durée, however, the idea of an image problem is only partly informed by knowledge or understanding of beliefs and practices that are internal to Islam. Representations of Islam produced by non-Muslims over more than a millennium have been no less important to the perception, perhaps even creation, of an Islamic Bilderverbot. This persistent idea should, therefore, be analyzed not only in relation to the tenets of Islam, but also as an aspect of European intellectual history. Doing so sheds light upon the current reinvestment of the image as a site for the construction of difference in debates about Islam, secularism and European identity.
Hybrid event
602 Humanities Center, Cathedral of Learning
Event Type
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