Iconoclasm is first and foremost an abstract game where the theme
mainly serves as decoration. However, the theme of the four balancing
elements and the clashes of faiths fit the core of the game quite well.
The four elements
The word element was first used by Plato to describe the simplest
essential parts and principles that everything are based upon. Originating
from a list of Empedocles, there were four elements:
Fire: Hot and dry
Air: Wet and hot
Water: Cold and wet
Earth: Dry and cold
As Empedocles' diagram shows, there is a relation between the elements,
where the combination of two elements result in a sensible quality. This
relation goes both ways but in the game, it has been transformed into a
clockwise relation where air supports fire, fire supports earth and so on.
Later, Aristotle added the fifth element of aether or spirit for the
unchangeable heavenly substance. This is also the role that spirit plays in the
game: an undestructable substance that separates the earthly and corruptible
elements. While the other elments win by destroying each other, spirit wins
by maintaining the cosmic balance.
For more about the four elements, I can recommend
Iconoclasm refers to "the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other
symbols or monuments of one's own culture, usually for religious or political
motives". Iconoclasms may take place within or between religions and historically
they have been very destructive and dividing. Examples include the Byzantine
iconoclasms, that split the Christian faith in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and the
Protestant reformation, that further split the Christian faith.
The game originally symbolized the creation and destruction of temples by the followers
of the Element Gods. Later, the theme switched to the more abstract and esoteric image of elements
forming around cores, but since they were represented by icons the name Iconoclasm remained.
For more about historical iconoclasms, I can recommend