Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Iconography

In a very round-about train of thought, I recalled that strict modern Islam has a tenant against depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Having been at one point raised a semi-strict Jew with ludicrous regulations against eating delicious food and never letting various obscure items touch the floor, preventing a golden-calf-level faux pas of idolatry or detracting in any way from the glory of one's god seems more than reasonable.

Actually, it seems like this could have done a lot for the other faiths. I haven't heard much lately, but I'm aware that there is still quite a bit of debate over exactly how dark-skinned Jesus supposedly was. I'm not in the camp that he was black, but only because I'm not sure -1st century Israelites would have been very open to interracial marriage and the Ethiopian Jews were still isolated from the rest of their culture. I'd still believe he was a pretty swarthy guy, though. Jim Caviezel? Not really there yet. Maybe Jim Caviezel after a week in Boca. Certainly not the scrawny Aryan I see in a lot of stained glass.

And just forget Judaism straight away. If I had to guess at what Moses looked like I'd end up drawing you a picture of Charlton Heston.

Hell, "Buddha" is just a title for "enlightened one," of which Buddhism makes note of several. Siddhartha Guatama, the Guatama Buddha who kinda took the lead in the pantheon, that guy was a tall, skinny prince-turned-aesthetic. The fat little buddy on my desk is mot likely based off a Chinese monk who was fat and walked the East enlightening others.

As far as I can tell, the only faiths that seem to embrace highly detailed descriptions of their important figures are Hindu and Scientology.

All hail Tom Cruise.

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