This article studies the intersection of religion, materiality and violence. I will argue that pictures of violated bodies can contribute substantially to imageries of religious bonding. By directing attention towards the relation between pictures of violence, religious imagery and materiality, this article contributes to current research on religion-related violence and on material religion, two disciplinary fields that have not yet been clearly related. By focusing on the picturing of (violated) bodies as both sacred and communal objects, I will make clear how pictures of violence relate to social imageries of (religious) communities. Two short case-studies show how pictures of violence are recreated in the imagery of communities, causing new episodes of violence against anonymous representatives of the perpetrators. This article develops a perspective on the role pictures play in framing religious conflicts, which is often neglected in studies of religion-related violence. The study of religious matter, on the other hand, could explore more deeply the possibilities of studying the medialization of contentious pictures of human bodies in the understanding of conflicts as ‘religious’.
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