Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities

Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities

by William A. Dyrness


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This ethnographic study focuses on the religious imagery and practices of a sample of Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques in the greater Los Angeles area. As a way of expanding interfaith dialogue, it is framed as a conversation between the largely Christian researchers and the seventy-five respondents, who were asked about the images, space, and practices of their religious experience. From the respondents in their various religious settings, it seeks to distill the specific religious imaginations and aesthetic profiles that might be said to characterize their experience--to discover what might be considered the living images of these faiths. Set in the context of contemporary discussions of the nature of religion and visual culture, this richly textured study of visual and sensory practices in religion raises fundamental questions about the place of belief and ritual practice and the role these play in our increasingly pluralistic religious culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620321362
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 03/29/2013
Series: Art for Faith's Sake , #7
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

William A. Dyrness is Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of the Visual Faith Institute of Art and Architecture at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, and was a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts at Fuller. He is the author of Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship (2008) and Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life (2011).

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

Buddhism: Chanting One's Life 32

Islam, Worship, and Beauty 67

Conclusion: Aesthetic and Devotional Trajectories 100

Appendix 137

Bibliography 145

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