Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9858153:


Trans Fear 20 5, 12:33am

@RusA #9858121 Christianity has its own issues with portraying religious figures. In general, Jesus and other religious figures can be portrayed, but God the Father isn't, and the Holy Spirit is mostly only portrayed as a beam of light, or as a dove (from one of the Gospel accounts of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus at his baptism "in the form of a dove"). Evangelical Christians, that is, the ones who reject Catholic practices and base their teachings solely on their interpretations of the Bible, tend to frown on religious images, certainly the statues that Catholics use or the icons of the Eastern Church, which they regard as idolatrous. It's very common, though, to have modest inspirational paintings of the Last Supper or Jesus knocking at the door in churches and in the homes of pious members.

Educated Christians understand that portrayals of Jesus are artifacts of the culture that produced them, and not supposed to represent what he really looked like. Blond versions are almost unknown - Jesus is usually portrayed with European features, brown hair. and either brown or blue eyes. This is also true of Russian icons, though many follow the Greek icon tradition of giving Jesus a Mediterranean look; and his complexion gets darker as you move further south. Jesus in the North African and Ethiopian churches tends to be very dark-complexioned indeed. :)


My understanding of Islam is that the most conservative groups frown on any portrayal of any living being, because only God can create such things, and such pictures may tend to promote idolatry. This obviously varies from one place to another, as humans and animal are freely portrayed in Persian and Turkish art. Even Muhammad shows up sometimes. Middle-Eastern Muslims have a chip on their shoulder about what they consider centuries of oppression by the "Crusaders", and they tend to think that offensive portrayals of Islam in Western media is just more of the same kind of oppression that they have to fight against. They would probably argue that the Persian images don't count because those people aren't real Muslims. :evillaugh: