The Ethical Implications of Idolatry
ASR 2004 – San Francisco
Michael York
Bath Spa University College

The historical and still current condemnation of idolatry as the worship of false gods has no viable foundation when paganism is understood as a legitimate religion that merits the same protections and tolerance as the other major faiths of the world. The pagan rejection of the biblical rejection of idolatry rests on two foundations. Firstly, the attribution of falsity to any god is to be recognized as a value judgment on the part of the attributer. The authenticity of a god or deity is not only beyond the remit of empirical inquiry, it is also a matter that can only be decided subjectively between the worshipper and the worshipped alone. And, secondly, the theistic denunciation of the use of any object, whether natural or man-made, to convey godhead because God is allegedly transcendent to every and all particulars is refuted by paganism’s intrinsic pantheistic understanding. For the pagan, it is not that God/Goddess/the godhead is beyond the visible, but rather that there is nothing that is not God or divinity. The pagan god is not some separate being or (non-)entity but is instead the all of reality and potential. Further, following in the line of Process Theology, this god is forever growing and augmenting. It is not static, aloof and detached. It is our world if not also all the worlds beyond.

If the essential features of a pagan religion consist of, or at least include, nature worship, this-worldliness, corpo-spirituality, enchantment, hedonism, deific pluralism, humanism, locality of focus and ethical concern, idolatry is not necessarily among them.[1] In the broader sense, of course, the spiritual as tangible, corporeal and local provides the rationale and justification for any veneration of idols. Idolatry may also come under the remit of polytheism. The key thing here is that the idol may be approached as embodiment of the sacred as well as representative of something special but other, something beyond the immediate confines of the tangible presence. It is both the god and a symbol of the god.

The Abrahamic effort to postulate God not as Self but Other is a means to avoid the possibility of considering God as either a human fabrication or a human spirit – perhaps a well-meaning but vain attempt to avoid the implications of human hubris. In the worst case scenario, it has been argued to be a means of control, of human management through one elite or another, but it is this very separation between the human and the divine that becomes the raison d’être behind the biblical injunction against idolatry. In the corpo-spiritual pantheistic understanding of paganism, however, there is no radical divide between matter and spirit, and, consequently, no radical distinction between the human and the divine.

For instance, according to the 1993 Catechism of the Catholic Church, idolatry is the divinisation of whatever is not God. It occurs whenever the individual reveres or honors an object or creature in place of God. The pagan position, by contrast, holds that there is nothing other than God/Goddess/the Godhead. In fact, this position is essentially expressed by Robert Corrington when he makes the claim that `there is nothing outside of or other than nature’.[2] For the pagan herself, nature is divinity, and any aspect of nature can stand for, or serve as portal to, the all of nature as divinity.

Deep paganism contends that the human is one of the gods – perhaps even the ultimate development of divine consciousness at this stage and within the present limits of our corner of time and space. If the Judeo-Christian or Abrahamic God is, at the end of the day, a human projection, contemporary Wicca may have it more clearly in focus by centering on its Goddess, since there are more women on planet earth than there are men. To the degree that Wicca reveres both the Goddess and the God, it has a more accurate balance in the projection of our collective self into apotheosis. Deep paganism, by contrast, goes both beyond gender constraint toward deification of humanity as a whole and, on more vernacular and indigenous levels, does not concern itself with ultimates but with the here and now of specific and often local divine encounter. Pantheonic formulations allow for a range of possibility catering to individual and community tastes alike. But even so, if the pagan godhead, or at least an important part of the pagan godhead, represents a deification of self (along perhaps with a deification of various aspects of nature as mother and as they relate to us), the contemporary and indigenous pagan must consider the ethical implications that follow from such a position of divine and hubristic arrogance.

Part of any answer to that consideration for anyone conditioned by Judeo-Christian culture is determined by the first two commandments of Exodus (20.3-6) in which worship of any other God than Yahweh is forbidden – including worship through the use of images. In other words, Yahweh may not be represented by any idolatrous image, and this is backed by the prohibition against the worship of any other god or goddess – including the idols of these rival figures as well. For Immanuel Kant the sublime is not dependent on any object but on the self or subject alone. With this in mind, he upholds the biblical commandment prohibiting the making of graven images as “the most sublime passage in the Jewish law” and as a prevention of the kind of fanaticism or delusion that wishes to see beyond the limits of the senses.[3] The ultimate failure of the human individual’s faculty of understanding to form concepts is contingent for Kant on the fact that the unknown or transcendental cannot be represented. For the empiricist, that which cannot be represented does not exist; for the pragmatist, that which cannot be represented is useless, and along these lines the pagan tends to adopt a pragmatic empirical approach and, if not denying the transcendental or supernatural outright, envisions no viable reason why it cannot be represented even to whatever degree it might not be understood. Consequently, a central aspect of pagan spirituality is comfortable with representing the unmanifest and other as an established means for expressing adoration, experiencing the dynamics of awe and wonder or accessing the miraculous. From a pagan perspective, the real irony in Kant’s Lectures on Ethics argument is that the iconoclastic Abrahamic traditions have consistently produced a `reverse fanaticism’ – but a fanaticism nonetheless – that in terms of ethical consequence and intrinsic respect for others appears indefensibly immoral.

The second of the Ten Commandments condemns polytheism. It too strikes against an essential feature of paganism, namely, its organic and spontaneous consideration of godhead as multiple and gender differentiated. As the pagan would see it, Yahweh’s injunction is that of a rival and jealous figure and reflects an attempt not only for absolute hegemony but a violation against a fundamental and natural human impulse. The difficulty of its imposition is seen throughout much of the Old Testament (e.g., I Kings 18, I Samuel 19.13, 16; Isaiah 40.18-25). In many respects, this idolatrous human propensity passes on directly to the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox branches of Christendom, only here the idol is not considered an idol as such but rather a mediating agency. The Church claims that the statue or icon of the saint is not worshipped but merely venerated and is employed simply to focus devotion. Paganism, by contrast, accepts the revered object as a vehicle through which to approach the deity, but it may also accept the revered object as a manifestation of deity in and of itself.[4] Moreover, and perhaps more importantly at this point in our argument, paganism does not differentiate between worship and veneration. For the pagan, they are the same.

Idolatry is the worship (latreia) of an eidolon (`image’, `form’, idea’).[5] The biblical insistence that God is beyond representation (rather than inclusive of all and any representation) is itself an idea. In other words, for the pagan, monotheism, or the absolutely transcendent other, is itself an idol. It is a notion with the same ontological status as any other conjectured notion. From a pagan perspective, all theological understandings are in some sense conceptual; idolatry – even if it eschews the use of images – is inescapable. Therefore, contemporary pagans make the claim that any condemnation of idolatry is invalid, non-rational and illegitimate. While paganism in its fundamentals does not embrace the biblical notion of sin, it certainly does not accept the belief that idolatry in any sense constitutes a sin. If the first two commandments are intended as a rejection of paganism, paganism in turn categorically rejects the first two commandments and the principle for which they stand.

Consequently, implicitly, paganism shares with the dharmic religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism the essential features of iconographic approach to the divine. In his `Defence of Image Worship’, Swami Vivekananda extols idolatry despite the external worship of images being conveyed by the Hindu Shastras as “the lowest of all the low forms of worship.”

… idolatry is condemned! Why? Nobody knows. Because some hundreds of years ago some man of Jewish blood happened to condemn it? That is, he happened to condemn everybody else’s idols except his own. If God is represented in any beautiful form or any symbolic form, said the Jew, it is awfully bad; it is sin. But if He is represented in the form of a chest, with two angels sitting on each side, and a cloud hanging over it, it is the holy of holies. If God comes in the form of a dove, it is holy. But if He comes in the form of a cow, it is heathen superstition; condemn it![6]

Though Vivekananda is speaking about the use of images in Hindu worship, the dilemma he expresses applies equally to paganism. He situates the paradox in humanity’s inability to see things through the eyes of another. David Abram is equally blunt. The ancient Hebrews, he argues, forsook their former corporeal religiosity and its responsiveness to the natural environment by shifting to a purely phonetic set of alphabetic signs. This allowed an epistemological independence from earthly sensuality. “To actively participate with the visible forms of nature came to be considered idolatry by the ancient Hebrews; it was not the land but the written letters that now carried the ancestral wisdom.”[7]

Nevertheless, idolatry in both its persistent explicit and implicit manifestations would appear to betray a fundamental human need to symbolize the divine or supernatural in visible and embodied form. To the degree that the subliminal processes of idolatry are to be seen additionally as part of a reflective device by which the human projects herself into the transcendent and as one of the gods, the ethical question arises whether this act is not the ultimate of arrogant hubris on the part of mankind. Certainly, the argument derived from the first two of the Ten Commandments holds little persuasive logic for a pagan perspective. Pagans adhere to a multiplicity in their godhead. And to the degree that earth or nature is both sacred and `mother’ of all, the pagan pantheistic take on reality allows no ultimate distinction between the divine and tangible reality. In other words, there is no separation between God, Goddess or the gods as a transcendent other, on the one hand, and humanity and the world, on the other. Idols are not inherently false but are part of – as well as expressive of – the divine totality. The naturalness of idolatry is expressed by Spinoza when he claims simply that the likeness or image of the object likewise gives rise to the same responses of joy or sadness as may be forthcoming directly from the object itself.[8] In the pagan sense, each idol is a hologram reflective of the whole in the same manner as each jewel in Indra’s infinite net mirrors every other jewel in that net’s unending nexi. The reflection of nature includes any and all reflections of humanity, and to whatever degree the act of worship is a human natural, self-worship and worship of the tangible as this-worldly and not necessarily as something otherworldly or a priori transcendental is inevitable. Whatever else hubris may be, anything that is natural and inevitable cannot be hubristic. If anything, in fact, exercising the choice not to worship or honor the sacred could be the only instance of human hubris.

While an understanding of worship or honor is a central part of the broader question concerning pagan ethics, before we pursue this deeper issue, at this point we need to recognize that polytheism itself disallows the hubris of human narcissism. In a pagan formulation, we are not God but one of the gods. Ideally, the gods relate to one another in conformity to the principles of harmony. As one of the gods, we too are obliged to strive to cooperate with each other and with nature in all endeavor. The pagan godhead is multiple and as such encompasses the balancing rounds or oppositions of the natural world while, at the same time, encouraging the freedom of diversity – including what John Locke considered the sacred freedom of conscience.[9]

Pagan pantheism recognizes the ubiquity of godhead; pagan polytheism recognizes the plurality of godhead. While for the former there is nothing that is not an aspect of the divine, for the latter this same non-exclusion need not necessarily be the case. In other words, a pagan polytheist could entertain the possibility that there are `false gods’ (e.g., Mammon, a nation-state, etc.) as well as genuine deities. Here the multiplicity of possibility is the emphasis and not some monistic unity that may nonetheless underlie that multiplicity. In the development of Judaism, the former biblical condemnation of idolatry as the `worship of other gods’ is replaced by the Talmud codifier Maimonides (1135-1204) as the `worship of false gods’ (the rabbinic avodah zarah). In the worship of God falsely, Maimonides was opposed to the internalization of idolatry: understanding the godhead in anthropomorphic terms. He interpreted this as rendering God corporeal. Apart from the use of idols as fetishistic intermediaries, it was this attribution of a body along with emotions and human mentality to God that became in Judaism the `sin of internalized idolatry’. Maimonides extended this last to include `internal polytheism’, namely, the consideration of God as complex rather than a `simple unity’.[10]

For the pagan, by contrast, there is no gap between the god and the world. Both are complex and challenging to human contemplation and ecstatic imagination, and the revered representation is simply one device that assists the worshipper in blurring any tendency to consider the two as separate. Paganism is instead comfortable with the notion of the idol as both acquiring the characteristics of the deity it represents and as something independently autonomous. Divine diversity, as well as the access to it, is a phenomenon to celebrate rather than to shun. And as all this may be subsumed within the inherent and ubiquitous sanctity of nature, to reject the natural in both corporeal and intangible/ethereal forms is the supreme instance of human hubris. The formulation of pagan ethics, of any ethical/moral position from a pagan perspective, occurs beneath the aegis of this understanding. The world itself/herself is divine – including we humans, her children, along with whatever other product is derived from the earth, either directly or through us as intermediaries. This is the full implication of pantheistic/polytheistic idolatry, and, as such, there is implicitly for the pagan a tendency to respond to what Diana Eck refers to as the need to develop “a hermeneutic of the visible.”[11]

Therefore, the pursuit of the ethical for the pagan, whatever the specifics, occurs against a sacred background that in both its material and spiritual aspects partakes of divinity. This is why the principle of idolatry is central to pagan consciousness – whether the pagan bows down to idols per se or, rather, reveres nature in all its fullness. Idolatry is a recognition of the ubiquity of the divine, the pantheistic undercurrent of all phenomenal existence. While idolatry may concentrate the divine in certain instances, creating a sort of primus inter pares in direct access to the holy, it is simply endorsing the use of a pragmatic vehicle in apprehending or communicating with the sacred all as the cosmos’ fundamental predisposition.

But while divine, nature is neither `good’ nor `bad’; it just is. Paganism views the cosmos as essentially amoral or non-moral rather than either moral or immoral. It leaves it to human and/or other sentience to impose or infuse the ethical within the cosmos. In other words, it is consciousness (whether human or at least including the human) that has the responsibility of creating an aesthetic teleos that is to become the foundation of ethical action and aspiration. From a pagan perspective, ethics are the aura of the human soul, that is, of humanity’s collective mind/spirit. In other words, in contrast to Kant who considers freedom the obligation incumbent on individuals to act in accordance with the transcendental and universal moral law, freedom for the pagan is the this-worldly ability for humans to develop and evolve an ethic in the face of an amoral world of nature. Within the aural spectrum that for the pagan is to saturate the entire range of possibility, it is idolatry or specific devotion that allows – even encourages – focus within a world of otherwise unbounded choice.

Galatians 5:19 includes idolatry as a work of the flesh. Along with idolatry, immorality, impurity, licentiousness, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, dissentions and factious behavior are equally condemned. For good measure, this New Testament passage throws in envy, drinking bouts and orgies. In some sense, however, Galatians provides a sort of check-list against which the pagan of today might explore his/her understanding of moral behavior. Obviously there are some behaviors included within the Galatian list that the pagan would also reject, such as hatred, jealousy and dissension. But if idolatry is not to be included, the remit of pagan ethical debate is to ask what other endeavors might not be as well.

As this presentation today is a work in progress, I am not attempting to determine what exactly are the various moral stands the contemporary and indigenous pagan might take on specific issues. For paganism as a present-day spirituality if not religion, the basic question entails the same exploration that has preoccupied much of human thought through its historical development and into the various forums of engagement and exchange to be found as part of the world arena of today. Any discernment concerning what is happiness and/or what is virtue – both pagan and non-pagan – ultimately must consider what others - from religious leaders and sensitives to philosophers and theoreticians - have had to say on the matter. But this is a much wider area than the immediate focus of this paper within the timeframe that is currently available. Ethics are the ultimate question – more important than even the nature or reality of the godhead. They concern what it is to be human and what our path through the marvelous labyrinth of terrestrial existence might be. The ethical is humanity’s greatest focus, and among the many philosophical and religious answers that have been given to the question of the good that underlies this focus, any pagan answer falls within the same range of justification that the pagan gives for the legitimacy of idolatrous worship.

 According to Jonathan Sacks, the idols of today include “self-esteem without effort, fame without achievement, sex without consequences, wealth without responsibility, pleasure without struggle and experience without commitment.”[12] While the current fashion is to reject such ideals as consumerism, faddism, multi-corporate capitalism, etc., what Sacks’ labeling makes clear is that to refer to something – anything in fact – as an idol is simply to make a value judgment. Whenever an `ism’ is disliked and rejected, it becomes an `idol’ to the disparager – whether hedonism, narcissism or materialism or even such `bona fide’ religions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity (what might be called `Christism’) or Islam (formerly and inaccurately known as `Mohammedanism’). Whether the object is something to be revered, or it is something to vilified and condemned, the consideration of the focus as an idol occurs within the eye of the beholder – more than it is to be attributed to any body of knowledge and practice or considered intrinsic to some tangible object. For the pagan, Christians and Muslims are actually illustrative of idolatry in its worst form, namely, that of the idée fixe which seemingly blinds them to the divine-human aesthetic and renders them incapable of forming a participatory bonding with humanity as a questing affirmation. The question with idolatry is always one of treading the fine line between passion and obsession. Idols evoke fervent commitment – even zealous adoration, and as long as this devotion – even the occasional frenzied devotion – can remain within the boundaries of organic sensitivities and decorum in consideration of others, it is something for the pagan to be encouraged. It is only when that fervor removes one from the collective human community or, worse, sets one against others, does idolatry become anti-human and sacrilege. The ethical is ultimately an interest that transcends all sectarian division because the ethical is the meeting point for all humanity.

Historically, paganism has been a major contributor toward discerning what is the good life. In today’s world of increasing complexity and diversity, it has a decided advantage because, essentially, paganism is a plurality that includes its own opposites. There is no single paganism, and nor could there ever be. But the implicit earthiness of paganism in most of its varieties is what might allow and even encourage an ethical idolatry. Against the perpetual diaphanousness of a cosmos of transcendentals, the positive idol lures to the corporeal and grounds the human spirit. In other words, a diaphanous cosmology necessitates the tangible as a healthy antiphon. It is the idol that provides the pagan with something to grasp within a sea of perpetual bewilderment.

Of course, it is not pantheism that has given rise to idolatry despite the fact that it may ultimately be the rationale for it. Instead, it is idolatry that gives rise to pantheism. Idolatry itself is founded originally on the magical, the numinous, and the consideration of a pantheistic reality to our cosmos arises from the ubiquitous extension of the enchantment perceived locally in place and object. In a word, idolatry is a portal to pantheistic perception.

If idolatry is understood in John Bowker’s terms as the “attributing of absolute value to that which is not absolute, and acting towards that object, person, or concept as though it is worthy of worship or complete commitment,”[13] the pagan response is to question the very idea or concept of `absolute value’. In understanding godhead as an organic and growing phenomenon, the notion of an `absolute’ is already precluded. For the pagan, absolute worth could only be understood as the cosmos itself, and the universe is conceived as an endless hologram in which the all is reflected and accessible through any part. The pagan argument is that, apart from the cosmos or nature itself, there is nothing that could be desired absolutely, or, conversely, any possibly total desire for a thing, object, person or idea is or becomes a yearning for the universe/multiverse itself. It is this connection with the all of reality that ultimately is central to the pagan, and any pagan understanding of ethics as either the goal of life or the correct way to live life is guided and informed by this interconnectedness between the individual, the community, the world and the cosmos. In fact, so central is this bond that, despite the pantheistic understanding of divinity as immanent, it is the cosmic connection itself that is the fons et origo of the divine. If the tie is holy, that which it connects is equally sacred.

As Reese puts it, “For anything, attitude, ideal, purpose, or goal to be of value, it must be the object of a preference, of a judgment of importance.”[14] This, of course, brings the axial issue back to being a subjective question. In the full scope of philosophical debate, values are variously considered to be objective, subjective, absolute, relative, known intuitively or discovered experientially. If the question remains an open one, perhaps better than considering God as `absolute value’, he/she/it may be concentrated on as simply ubiquitous. Abrahamists understand God’s ubiquity in a transcendental sense; pagans see instead the divine as ubiquitously immanent. But the omnipresence of godhead itself is – or could be – a unifying feature between many of the world’s religions. However, if God is ubiquitous, ultimately both internal and external to the self, the pagan asks why privilege the one over the other? For pagans and some other religionists, it is the idol that provides a focus amidst the ubiquity of possible choice. The idea that the non-pictorial is superior to the pictorial idea or image is none other than a further subjective preference and value judgment. In Gandhi’s words, while the idol did not “excite any feeling of veneration” for him, he “did not disbelieve in idol worship. … I think that idol worship is part of human nature. … Images are an aid to worship.”[15] According to Swami Vivekananda, “It has become a trite saying that idolatry is wrong, and every man swallows it at the present time without questioning.”[16]

The pagan herself/himself disallows the disconnection of the body from the natural world. Paganism considers the complete interconnectedness of humanity, life and the natural environment. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty, Abram understands that to touch a tree is to be touched by the tree in turn; to see the world is reciprocally to be seen by the world. “Clearly,” he concludes, “a wholly immaterial mind could neither see things nor touch things – indeed, could not experience anything at all.”[17] Similarly, Langer claims that images are “our readiest instruments for abstracting concepts from the tumbling streams of actual impressions.”[18] The pagan rationale and argument for idolatry rest on this kind of non-transcendental and interactive experience between sentience and tangibility – a living and immediate interaction that is both sensuous and animistic. In other words, the pagan transforms Kant’s Platonic ideas of subject, cosmos and God into something more reminiscent of Bryan Wilson’s humanity, world and the supernatural in which the human and the cosmos are now substantial and concrete presences and the supernatural or, better, the preternatural is understood as an intrinsic awesome other. The pagan places his/her trust in the dynamic cycles of natural and organic corporality over that in any abstract postulation. Consequently, along with its celebratory humanism, paganism understands that humanism within the context of an axial and all-encompassing naturalism. Nature is the all that is. In paganism as a natural religion and religion of nature, god is an emergent teleological goal rather than an a priori source of commanding ethical will that is to be known through revelation. But where Kant imagines a true religion as one in which the revealed and natural compliment each other and allow the inner and outer to be grounded in the transcendental, paganism seeks to complete the veracity of natural religion through reason, common sense and instinctive intuition. In this, it grounds its ceaseless effort toward completion in the open and unending givenness of nature - a presence known through tangibility and the human emotions. Where the pagan would tend to agree with Kant is in placing morality as the primary basis of his/her religion and theology only as the secondary consideration.

The pagan would agree with Kant that human beings must not be exploited or used exclusively as the means to some further and selfish end, and this entails respecting one another as well as the earth as being intrinsically valuable. In place of Kant’s abstract reason as the end and rationale for all moral behavior, the pagan substitutes honor. And part of the pagan’s understanding of honor is to pursue pleasure legitimately – at least the legitimate pleasure that does not reduce or harm another against his or her will. In honoring sensual and intellectual pleasure as a moral form of happiness, the pagan honors life and the gods. Even virtue must ultimately be a pleasure. Not a sensual pleasure necessarily but at least an aesthetic pleasure at that locus in which the pagan’s sense of the beautiful and the sublime intersects with the pagan’s sense of the `right’ thing to do. If we were to replace Kant’s reason with honor as the teleological end, we would have a viable, this-worldly spiritual morality that is no less focused on freedom. In other words, we would have paganism.



[1] Note, however, that in the eighteenth century, a pagan was simply “a Heathen gentile, or idolater; one who adores idols and false gods” (Bell, 1790:II 149). For a different and more modern understanding of paganism, see York (2003a) and Harvey (1997).

[2] Corrington (1997:10).

[3] Kant, Critique of Judgment 134.

[4] Bell (1790:II 6) distinguishes between idols and images with the former representing a fiction or something that does not exist (e.g., sirens, centaurs, tritons and sphinxes); the latter being a similitude of something that actually does exist (e.g., a man, tree, dog, star, etc.) However, the author adds, “Generally speaking the words image and idol are used indifferently, to signify one and the same thing.”

[5] The English words `idol’ and `idea’ both derive from an Indo-European root signifying `to see’. The reconstructed radical *weid- is conjectured to have given rise to Greek eidos `form, shape’ and idea `appearance, form, idea’ (Watkins, 1969:1548). The actual condemnation behind the idea of the idol appears to have originally been against the seeing of `God’. In other words, the Abrahamic God is to be invisible at all times. Making and/or seeing the godhead in the visible world were judged to be an anathema.

[6] Vivekananda, `Defence of Image Worship’ in Mumm (2002:22).

[7] Abram (1996:240); author’s italics.

[8] Spinoza Ethics III Proposition 16 [II/153] (Curley, 1996:79).

[9] Vide McGraw (2003:73, 87f et passim).

[10] Halbertal & Margalit (1992:109-112).

[11] Diana Eck, `Seeing the Sacred’ in Mumm (2002:15).

[12] Sacks (2004). The underlying notion of an idol as “a statue or image of some false god” (Bell, 1790: II 3) is still retained. An earlier yet similar usage is Francis Bacon’s idola fori, specus, theatri, tribus which the English philosopher (1561-1626) considers to be four fundamentally incorrect ways of understanding nature: the idols of the tribe (natural human errors based on the assumption that man is the measure of all things), the idols of the cave (errors caused by individual bias), idols of the market place (incorrect inferences and assumptions based on language), and idols of the theater (errors caused by the influence of faulty philosophy, illogical empirical inference, and/or superstition).

[13] Bowker (1997:465).

[14] Reese (1999:805).

[15] M.K. Gandhi, `Images as an Aid to Worship’ in Mumm (2002:24).

[16] Swami Vivekananda, `Defence of Image Worship’. Ibid. 22.

[17] Abram (1996:68).

[18] Langer (1942:145); cited by Eck in Mumm (2002:15).