Images of Evil in Popular Ghanaian Christianity

In: Coping with Evil in Religion and Culture

Focusing on images of evil, this paper explores differences between the modes of looking induced by the exposition All About Evil at the Royal Tropical Museum in Amsterdam on the one hand and the Christian setting in which the items on display feature in Ghana on the other. While images of evil are more or less harmless depictions in the context of the exposition, in the Ghanaian setting they may easily slip into evil images that render present the very force that they depict. Tracing the genesis of Christian attitudes towards images of evil in Ghana, the paper focuses on the continued importance of the image of Satan in popular Ghanaian Christianity. It is argued that Christianity propounds a religious aesthetics that induces particular “looking acts” and attitudes towards evil through which images of evil achieve a reality of themselves.

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