Title

Ten Commandments Monuments and the Rivalry of Iconic Texts

Document Type

Article

Date

2004

Embargo Period

2-3-2011

Keywords

Ten Commandments, American Constitution, icons, symbolism, monuments, Iconic Book Project, Alabama

Language

English

Disciplines

Religion | Sociology of Culture

Description/Abstract

The legal and political controversy over Ten Commandments monuments in the United States involves iconic texts holding a discrete symbolic value compared to texts whose function primarily is to be read. The nation's founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have also increasingly been turned into monumental icons over the last half-century. The Ten Commandments controversy can therefore be understood in terms of competition among iconic texts for symbolic supremacy. Like the placement of divine images in ancient Near Eastern temples, struggles over the public display of iconic national and religious texts involve claims for their relative prestige in contemporary America.

These claims will be defended by describing the nature of iconic texts and the trend to enshrine American national texts as icons.

Additional Information

The Journal of Religion and Society is an electronic journal sponsored by the Kripke Center.

Source

local input