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The Meaning of Islamic Art: Explorations in Religious Symbolism and Social Relevance (In 2 Volumes)

Authors (s): Khursheed Kamal Aziz (Author)
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 8174353992
ISBN-13: 9788174353979
Pages: xliv+1831p., Figures; Color Plates; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.
Pub. date: 01.01.2004, 1st ed.
Publisher: Adam Publishers & Distributors
Language (s): English
Bagchee ID: BB18081
List price: US $ 273,00
Bagchee price: US $ 245,70
You save: (10.00%)
Member price: US $ 221,13 info

Overview for The Meaning of Islamic Art: Explorations in Religious Symbolism and Social Relevance (In 2 Volumes)

The publishers confidently claim that this is the first book of its kind to appear in Pakistan, and probably in the world. An immense amount of work has been done on Islamic Art in the West, but no Muslim or non-Muslim scholar has concentrated his gaze on its religious symbolism and its special place in Islamic civilization and culture. Professor Aziz explores these two facets of Islamic art with consummate skill without completely neglecting the role of time in their development and evolution.

He brings out the point that Islamic Art is, above everything else, Islamic because it is rooted in a particular religion's beliefs, values, traditions and concepts. He emphasizes that it is predominantly a spiritual art because it represents the non-worldly aspirations, instincts and urges of a believer. This has created a powerful symbolism, and he uncovers the layers of meaning and significances underlying the various symbols, whether borrowed from other traditions or inherent in Islam. He also stresses the close connection between this art and Sufism. A parallel thread runs throughout the book: the close proximity between this art and the society which produced or lived with it; a unique feature of Islamic civilization.

The author has spent 20 years in preparing this study, and for his facts and insights he has gone not only to Islamic religious texts, philosophy, theology, psychology and eschatology but also to the values and traditions of other faiths and civilizations. For this purpose he has used his proficiency in 9 languages and his knowledge of the poetical and non-poetical literature of 4 tongues. The whole treatment is immaculately documented, richly illustrated, and carries an invaluable and comprehensive bibliography.

In spite of his disclaimer that he is a specialist of the subject and his assertion that he has written this book for his own pleasure and satisfaction, Aziz emerges as a major art historian and critic. This work will stand the test of time in the world of scholarship. It will also give the reader much joy because of its exquisite style.

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