Theology, Ethnography, and the Historicization of Idolatry

  title={Theology, Ethnography, and the Historicization of Idolatry},
  author={J Rubies},
  journal={Journal of the History of Ideas},
  pages={571 - 596}
  • J. Rubies
  • Published 16 October 2006
  • Philosophy
  • Journal of the History of Ideas
Early Christian writers defined idolatry around the monotheistic distinction between proper worship of the creator and vain worship of the creature, which they had inherited from Hellenistic Judaism. Despite the remarkable consensus about the validity of this theological analysis, the medieval synthesis was under severe strain throughout the early modern period, mainly because of the concept's extended range of application in the new contexts of religious controversy. In all these cases… 
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