By Jamal J. Elias
Media assurance of the Danish sketch situation and the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan left Westerners with a powerful impact that Islam doesn't countenance depiction of spiritual imagery. Jamal J. Elias corrects this view by way of revealing the complexity of Islamic attitudes towards representational spiritual artwork. Aisha’s Cushion emphasizes Islam’s perceptual and highbrow modes and in so doing deals the reader either perception into Islamic visible tradition and a different means of seeing the world.
Aisha’s Cushion evaluates the controversies surrounding blasphemy and iconoclasm by way of exploring Islamic societies on the time of Muhammad and the beginning of Islam; in the course of early touch among Arab Muslims and Byzantine Christians; in medieval Anatolia and India; and nowa days. Elias’s inquiry then is going extra, to situate Islamic spiritual artwork in a world context. His comparisons with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu attitudes towards spiritual artwork exhibit them to be as contradictory as these of Islam. modern theories approximately art’s position in society tell Elias’s research of the way spiritual items were understood throughout time and in numerous cultures.
Elias contends that Islamic views on illustration and conception could be sought not just in theological writings or aesthetic treatises yet in a number Islamic works in components as varied as optics, alchemy, dreaming, calligraphy, literature, motor vehicle and residential ornament, and Sufi metaphysics. Unearthing colours of that means in Islamic concept all through background, Elias bargains clean perception into the family between faith, paintings, and belief throughout a large variety of cultures.
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Additional resources for Aisha's Cushion: Religious Art, Perception, and Practice in Islam
As the best option, one is left with the method I employ here, that of recognizing the object as a form of data in its own right, and one that possesses its own systems of understanding that warrant the drawing of broader conclusions from the examination of speciﬁc examples. 38 Such an image-centered method goes together with the recognition of a point I attempt to make repeatedly in this book, and especially in the later chapters: in Muslim contexts, it is wrong to think of images without the presence of visual text.
24 “Such images, really, function as what we might call metapractical objects: they provide, at once, an opportunity for practice . . 26 Rotman has criticized this hypothesis, arguing that, were this notion to be normative in any way, “there must have been a citationality of the narrative tableaus on Buddhist monuments. If the Buddha was to be re-presented, and not just presented to those who had never seen him when he was alive, there must have been a known referent, something to which the viewer could key in.
38 Such an image-centered method goes together with the recognition of a point I attempt to make repeatedly in this book, and especially in the later chapters: in Muslim contexts, it is wrong to think of images without the presence of visual text. Quite apart from examples of ekphrasis in literary and scholarly works or of other similar forms of text-image relationships, text goes with images in a range of examples analyzed here and must be recognized as part of the practice of images. Text functions visually, but the presence of text—the rhetorical devices a i s h a ’ s c u s h i o n 20 and literary conventions of which are relatively accessible to the educated reader—suggests the possibility that the visual religious objectcum-text might itself, to some extent, be governed by such conventions.
Aisha's Cushion: Religious Art, Perception, and Practice in Islam by Jamal J. Elias