The Sublime Object(s) of Idolatry: Prophetic Aniconism and the Ideological Formation of the Subject – David Fuller
In the prophetic corpus of the Hebrew Bible, a number of passages decry the creation and worship of physical representations of deities. While previous studies have examined the diachronic development of aniconism and the possibility that the Israelites did possess cult images of YHWH, this topic can be explored further, specifically as it relates to its ideological dimension. Slavoj Žižek’s psychoanalytic resuscitation of Hegel produces an ontology in which the “subject” is a conceptual vassal of the condition of lack in the Other. Žižek’s discussion of the effects of the removal of “sublime” elements from the symbolic order is a helpful lens for reading the prophetic polemics against cult statues. It is the intention of the present study to utilize this theory to contribute a new understanding of the ideological role these aniconic texts play in the construction of the subject.
Žižek, ideology, aniconism, idolatry, Hebrew Bible, prophets