Icon, Object and Image
This course explores the place of material and visual culture in Islam, examining how Muslims have conceptualized and deployed material and visual forms of religious expressions in a number of historical contexts. How does vision affect the understanding and practice of religion? How does a world pregnant with enchantment shape and inform materiality? What does the study of religion tell us about visual and material culture that art history cannot?
Topics include: icon, iconicity, and iconoclasm; the material object as a site of charismatic power; sacred space and sacred architecture; shrine worship / book worship; bodies and objects in a world of ritual purity and impurity; calligraphy, painting / sign and image; visual and textual aesthetics; talismans, charms, and incantations; visuality and materiality as religious experience.