Personal background: My Pentecostal Christian grandmother reproved what she viewed as the Catholic sin of 'idolatry' due to the ornate cathedrals, the flashy clergy dress, the saintly statues, the visage of the Virgin Mary everywhere etc. My Catholic relations felt that this was hypocritical logic on account of the numerous and colossal-sized crosses they see adorning non-Catholic Christian homes and churches, images of Jesus, and illustrated children's bibles.
I have had Muslim friends call foul on of all versions of Christianity and what they deem as its repeated use of imagery in their liturgy, and they maintain that Islam strictly forbids this idolatrous aspect of faith, which is why their art is so focused on nature, symmetry, and interconnectedness. (This jives with what I learned in my Islamic Art in Asian Culture course in college. Much of their motifs are circuitous in some fashion to symbolize eternity and the connection of all living things, but nowhere is the visage of God or their Prophet depicted.) But, then what of the hajj pilgrimage towards Mecca to go round the Kaaba?
I have few Jewish perspectives at my disposal on this, but I know that it is forbidden in their faith as well despite their love of the Star of David and other symbols to identify their belief.
It appears to me that all of these individual's personal definitions of what constitutes idolatry qualifies themselves as idolaters, but they refuse to acknowledge it. So perhaps their definitions are in error? This is a commandment that seems to get less airtime than the others although it's clearly disagreed upon. What are your opinions, or that of academia on what constitutes idolatry? I am particularly interested in those who practice or are familiar with Abrahamic faiths, but all opinions are welcome.In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although views as to what constitutes idolatry may differ within and between them. In other religions the use of cult images is accepted, although the term "idolatry" is unlikely to be used within the religion, being inherently disapproving. Which images, ideas, and objects constitute idolatry is often a matter of considerable contention, and within all the Abrahamic religions the term may be used in a very wide sense, with no implication that the behaviour objected to actually consists of the religious worship of a physical object.