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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The history of fighting over God's image in America

Fighting over God's image

From the piece: 

In the early Republic, many Americans avoided depicting Jesus or God in any form. The painter Washington Alliston spoke for many artists of the 1810s when he said, “I think his character too holy and sacred to be attempted by the pencil.” A visiting Russian diplomat, Pavel Svinin, was amazed at the prevalence of a different image: George Washington’s. “Every American considers it his sacred duty to have a likeness of Washington in his home,” he wrote, “just as we have images of God’s saints.”

Only in the late 19th century did images of God and Jesus become commonplace in churches, Sunday school books, Bibles and homes.

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