Life is full of choices: politicians, partners, work ... everything! Are we the sum of our choices? How do we make wise choices?
Chris Longhurst, previously Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Vatican, introduces us to the richness of Islamic sacred art.
Dr. Christopher Longhurst originally hails from Napier, Hawke’s Bay. For the past two years he has been living and working in Morocco as Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Islamic Studies Program at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. He also works as a docent (operatore didattico) at the Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy, leading tours, lecturing, and conducting seminars. His field of study is theological aesthetics or the interdisciplinary study of religion and art. Besides pushing the boundaries of what is considered “sacred pictorial art” by presenting abstract expressionist artworks as a theological locus, Longhurst’s secondary research interest explores manifestations of beauty in Islam. His work in this field has produced several publications among which are “Mihrab: Symbol of Unity and Masterpiece of Islamic Art and Architecture” (Lonaard, 2013), “Theology of a Mosque: The Sacred Inspiring Form, Function and Design in Islamic Architecture,” (Lonaard, 2012), and “Beautiful Holiness of Kalām Allāh: On the Transmission of the Divine Word in Islam through Art” (Encounter, PISAI, 2011). Longhurst also writes on religion and art for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. Holding a Ph.D. in Theology from the Angelicum, Rome, 2009, his talk today: Sacred Art in Islam: Meaning and Language, looks at Islām’s aesthetic theory and how Islām manifests itself through sounds and letters based on Qur’ānic injunctions.
An Islāmic aesthetic
Islāmic abstraction, tawḥīd and the arabesque
Recitation and calligraphy
The question of images
Common language of Islamic art
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