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The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice / Edition 1

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"The work presented in this book is very important. It offers a useful bridge between art history and religious studies, opening up the insights of each to the other. By offering a workable set of analytical categories to be used in studying religious images, Morgan's excellent scholarship promises to advance the current move toward more sophisticated understandings of religious material culture by leaps and bounds."—Jeanne Halgren Kilde, author of When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America

"The Sacred Gaze is a seminal book—it goes further than anything else I know of in placing religious aspects of the field on a firm foundation of scholarship. Morgan has almost single-handedly defined the subfield of religious visual culture studies, and the present volume moves the conversation to an impressive new level."—Jay D. Green, Professor of History, Covenant College

"The Sacred Gaze is of fundamental importance for the relations between images and religious belief, and is a major contribution to the burgeoning field of visual studies. Morgan's wide-ranging book moves from the contested status of images between cultures, to the history of current American attitudes towards them. A notable achievement."—David Freedberg, author of The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response

"This book is a tonic. It's just what visual studies needs: a sensible, ecumenical, interdisciplinary, multicultural consideration of the place of visuality in religion, and the place of religion in all images. It should help start conversations that can go back and forth between the secularized debates of the university and the religionist discourse that still predominates outside it."—James Elkins, author of The Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art

"David Morgan makes a compelling case for the importance of visual evidence in the study of religion, and he offers useful suggestions about how to interpret that evidence. I don't know of a better introduction to religion and visual culture."—Thomas A. Tweed, author of Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520243064
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 333
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Morgan is the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor in Christianity and the Arts, and Professor of Humanities and Art History in Christ College, Valparaiso University. He is author of several books, including Visual Piety (California, 1998) and Protestants and Pictures (1999), and coeditor with Sally M. Promey of The Visual Culture of American Religions (California, 2001).
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Questions and definitions
1 Defining visual culture 25
2 Visual practice and the function of images 48
3 The covenant with images 75
Pt. 2 Images between cultures
4 The violence of seeing : idolatry and iconoclasm 115
5 The circulation of images in mission history 147
Pt. 3 The social life of pictures
6 Engendering vision : absent fathers and women with beards 191
7 National icons : Bibles, flags, and Jesus in American civil religion 220
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