Religion, Art, and Visual Culture is a cross-cultural exploration of the study of visuality and the arts from a religious perspective. This forward looking and accessible collection gathers together the most current scholarship for those interested in art, religion, visual culture, and cultural studies. Inherently interdisciplinary, this reader approaches the study of world religions through the human, meaning-making activity of seeing. The volume oscillates between specific visual subjects (painting, landscape gardens, calligraphy, architecture, mass media) and the broader theoretical discourses which are relevant to Humanities students today.
'The essays in Religion, Art, and Visual Culture roam across Renaissance art galleries, YMCA lobbies, Zen Gardens, Hindu movie palaces and Holocaust museums to reveal what is unique and what is common in our human desire to see God-and His/Her desire to see us. It is an enlightening trip for anyone who keeps an altar, or wonders why other people do.' -
Donald Cosentino, Professor of World Arts and Cultures, UCLA; Curator, Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou; Editor, African Arts
'Timely, well-conceived, and clearly organized, Plate's book is also important. It considers how art is joined to religion, a concern and a weakness of Western religious traditions since antiquity, welcomes other religious traditions to the discussion, and incorporates visual culture, a field of vital scholarly interest from the 1990s. The selections anthologized here will enrich many discourses and help us understand how the holy might be communicated.' - Robert Nelson, Professor of Art History, University of Chicago and editor of Visuality Before and Beyond the Renaissance
'Brent Plate's well-chosen volume pulses with the excitement and deep purpose of popular imagery from the world's major religions. God exists in the visual details of everyday life, as well as in the high arts of formal religion. Readers will learn how sacred icons intersect with mass media, Islamic calligraphy with made-for-TV Hindu epics, Zen gardens with Holocaust memorials.' - Allen F. Roberts, Professor, UCLA, Dept. of World Arts & Cultures
'The book is a good beginning point for religion and cultural studies classes at the undergraduate and graduate level.' - Nadine Pence Frantz, Religious Studies Review