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Icônes et iconoclasme en Afrique

Authors
Journal
Annales Histoire Sciences Sociales
0395-2649
Publisher
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
Volume
46
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3406/ahess.1991.279009
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Religious Science

Abstract

Icons and iconoclasm in Africa. Africa often considered the land of icons of fetishes of three-dimensional repre sentation of divinity. However there are great differences between ethnic groups, only partly the result of Islamic influence or the subsequent attacks of Christians. Significantly the High God is rarely if ever represented anthropomorphically or even provided with an altar at which to communicate. Other major divinities have altars but rarely images which are more frequently created for the category of intermediaries between man and God the beings of the wild or "fairies". An attempt is made to account for the external and internal differences in terms of the similar ambivalences towards the representation of the "immaterial" in material form as was found in iconoclastic phases of the cultural history of Europe and Asia. At this level the mentalities are comparable.

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