Idolatry, Ecology, and the Sacred as Tangible


  • Michael York Bath Spa University College



Paganism, idolatry, Hinduism


While paganic aniconic forms of religiosity do flourish, such as we see in Shinto, Balinese Hinduism and Neo-paganism, idolatry is nevertheless a central form of religious expression to both generic paganism and vernacular forms of worship in general. However, thanks to the historically prevailing iconoclastic sentiments of Abrahamic religion, idolatrous worship has been vilified and ignored as a bona fide and authentic venerational response. The counter-argument presented in this essay rests on the contention that the corpo-spiritual fundaments of pagan perception not only allows idolatry but also encourages it as a distinguishing and legitimately affirmative religious approach. Through an emancipated understanding of the dynamics of the tangible, emerging pagan spirituality can flourish despite the biases, ridicule and condemnations inherent in both Abrahamic religion and secular ‘superiority’ as well as in ‘puritanical’ aspirations associated with dharmic orientations

Author Biography

  • Michael York, Bath Spa University College


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Special Section: Idolatry and Materiality

How to Cite

York, M. (2011). Idolatry, Ecology, and the Sacred as Tangible. Pomegranate, 12(1), 74-93.