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Ten Commandments monuments and the rivalry of iconic texts
(Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2004)
The legal and political controversy over Ten Commandments monuments in the United States revolves aroundiconic textsholding a discrete symbolic value compared to texts whose function primarily is to be read. A comparative perspective on iconic texts reveals that the nation's founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have also been increasingly turned into monumental icons over the last half-century. The commandments controversy can therefore be understood as competition among iconic texts for symbolic supremacy. At stake in that struggle are basic issues over how the nation will represent the government's relationship to the many religions represented within its population....