Endnotes • 14 • Photographing Deity

November 7, 2011

Venerating Sacred Images

1. Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (New York: Crown, 1995), 25.

2. The question is whether or not visuals can make arguments. I am making the case that because they cannot make claims based on reasonable propositions, they cannot make arguments. Pictures are declarative, that is, they communicate “information” in the positive sense because they represent reality or the appearance of reality. Words are required to introduce “the negative.” I can show you a picture of my dog catching a Frisbee in the park, but I can’t show you a photo of my dog not being somewhere. Even if I showed you a picture of the same park sans dog, you couldn’t be certain that the big lug wasn’t off-camera to the left. The picture, in its ability to convey presence and not absence, is declarative. It needs words for the viewer to take the next step and consider a claim.

3. J. Anthony Blair, “The Rhetoric of Visual Arguments,” in Defining Visual Rhetorics, ed. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996), 27.

4. Ibid., 34.

5. Matthew 26:47–49.

6. John 8:12; 9:5.

7. Acts 9:3–8.

8. Revelation 1:16.

9. “Mausoleum of the Julii (Christ-Helios),” n.d., http://www.the-goldenrule.name/Dionysus_JuliiHelios/Dionysus_JuliiHelios_–_MORE.htm .

10. Eusebius, Life of Constantine 1.28; “Constantine the Great,” Catholic Encyclopedia online, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm .

11. For example, Ray Nolan’s The Dream silkscreen poster shows the candidate in full Sol Invictus mode, although Nolan attributes the stylized sun-rays to another divine visual: “The image of St. Francis of Assisi speaking to the animals with a ‘gold’ halo around his head has always resonated with me” (cited in Steven A. Seidman, “Barack Obama’s 2008 Campaign for the U.S. Presidency and Visual Design,” Journal of Visual Literacy 29 (2010): 17).

12. George Gallup Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay, Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 2000), 7.

13. Robert Wuthnow, After Heaven: Spirituality in America since the 1950s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

14. Ibid., 168.

15. Richard Cimino and Don Lattin, Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New Millennium (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998).

16. Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (New York: Atria Books / Beyond Words, 2006).

17. Jerry Adler, “The Powerless,” Newsweek, August 10, 2010, http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/20/book-review-rhonda-byrne-s-the-power.html .

18. Aseem Shukla, “On Faith: Dr. Chopra, Honor Thy Heritage,” Hindu American Foundation blog, April 28, 2010, http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/onfaithapril28 .

19. Deepak Chopra, “Obama and the Call: ‘I Am America,’” Deepak Chopra’s website, January 7, 2008, .

20. Ibid.

21. Gary Hart, “Politics as Transcendence,” Huffington Post, February 13, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-hart/politics-as-transcendence_b_86490.html .

22. Ibid.

23. Mark Mortford, “Is Obama an Enlightened Being?,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, 2008, http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-06-06/entertainment/17120245_1_obama-s-presence-new-age-black-president .

24. Ibid.

25. Ibid.

26. Steve Davis, “Barack’s Appeal Is Actually Messianic,” Journal Gazette (Charleston), March 31, 2008, http://jg-tc.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_153c7146-0b59-54bd-8ec1-be7ad87e86f7.html .

27. Julie Mack’s commentary on Lynn Sweet’s column in the Chicago Sun-Times,  March 21, 2008, http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/03/sweet_richardson_in_endorsing.html#comments .

28. Gerald Campbell, “Obama: On Toughness and Success in Politics,” Gerald L. Campbell website, December 22, 2007, http://geraldlcampbell.typepad.com/impact/2007/12/recently-on-npr.html .

29. Eve Konstantine, “The Obama Vibe,” Huffington Post, February 5, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-konstantine/the-obama-vibe_b_85143.html .

30. Ibid.

31. Paul Harris, “Bush Says God Chose Him to Lead His Nation,” Observer, November 2, 2003, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/02/usa.religion .

32. James Donahue, “Using Images of Bush to Manipulate the Minds of Voters,” n.d., http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/themindofjamesdonahue/id580.html .

33. “The Really Truly Hillary Gallery,” zombietime.com, n.d., http://zombietime.com/really_truly_hillary_gallery/ .

34. Ewan MacAskill, “George Bush: ‘God Told Me to End the Tyranny in Iraq,’” Guardian, October 7, 2005, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa .

35. Deborah Caldwell, “An Evolving Faith,” BeliefNet, February 2003, http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Politics/2003/02/An-Evolving-Faith.aspx?p=2#ixzz1FblnL3Tf .

36. Rick Williams & Julianne Hickerson Newton, Visual Communication: Integrating Media, Art, and Science (New York: Routledge, 2007), 211.

37. Mitchell Stephens, The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 11.

38. Ibid., 185.

39. Ibid., 207.

40. “Obama Practices Looking-Off-into-Future Pose,” Onion, May 29, 2008, http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-practices-lookingoffintofuture-pose,2459/ .

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (New York: Vintage, 1987), 37.

44. Ibid., 240.

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