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Speaking of God in Memory of September 11th, 2001. An Aesthetic Approach

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God talk is visual speech, even contrary to monotheistic religions' prohibition against images. The power of the images unleashed by terrorists on 9/11 is grounded in a conflict of powerful images of God that drive the combatants into this jihad and 'war against evil or terror' respectively. This article contrasts works of art portraying the violence and terror of 9/11 or the conflicts in the Muslim world with the images of 9/11 itself. Three criteria of vision, distance and inviolacy are derived from this comparative approach. They can also be used as a yardstick to gauge competing images of God. 9/11 is not the beginning of a new era as the Western media claimed but is a symbol of the repercussions of the wave of globalization initiated by the implosion of the communist block, the expansion of neo-liberal capitalism and the compression of the world by new media technologies.

Affiliations: 1: Professor in Intercultural Theology at the Protestant Theological University Kampen, The Netherlands


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