>Iconoclasm and Text Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond

>The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is sponsoring a symposium on “Iconoclasm and Text Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond.” The symposium is organized by Natalie Naomi May.

The symposium will be held on April 8-9, 2011 at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Below is an introduction of the symposium as described in the newsletter of The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago:

Introduction

The purpose of this conference will be to analyze the cases of and reasons for mutilation of texts and images in Near Eastern antiquity. Destruction of images and texts has a universal character; it is inherent in various societies and periods of human history. Together with the mutilation of human beings, it was a widespread and highly significant phenomenon in the ancient Near East. However, the goals meant to be realized by this process differed from those aimed at in other cultures. For example, iconoclasm of the French and Russian revolutions, as well as the Post-Soviet iconoclasm, did not have any religious purposes. Moreover, modern comprehension of iconoclasm is strongly influenced by its conception during the Reformation.

This conference will explore iconoclasm and text destruction in the ancient Near Eastern antiquity through examination of the anthropological, cultural, historical and political aspects of these practices. Broad interdisciplinary comparison with similar phenomena in the other cultures and periods will contribute to better understanding them.

For more information about the symposium, visit The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago web page.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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