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Idolatry and Fixation: Modern Jewish Thought and the Criticism of Cosmetically and Technologically Perfected Female Faces in Contemporary Popular Culture*

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract This article argues that the ‘halakhically’ (legally) governed representational techniques employed by Jewish art are founded upon a counter-idolatrous theology of appearance: both human and divine. In drawing upon a range of Jewish sources from the ancient to the contemporary period that understand idolatry as an estrangement of the world from God, this article presents a Jewish feminist theological critique of alienation in the late modern popular visual regime, while suggesting that it is nonetheless possible for public culture to behold the divine image in images of the human without such images becoming idolatrous.

Affiliations: 1: University of Gloucestershire UK


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