This timely and stimulating Handbook, edited by world-class experts in the field, provides a comprehensive guide to Islamic Studies today. It examines the main issues in the field and explores the key debates. It provides readers with an indispensable, balanced guide to the roots of Islam and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.
Chapter 10: Islamic Art: Visual Manifestations of a Faith and a Culture
Islamic Art: Visual Manifestations of a Faith and a Culture
Questions of Definition
If the religion of Islam itself may be justly regarded as a continuation–Muslims would say a culmination–of centuries of Judaeo-Christian tradition in the Middle East, the visual arts in Islamic civilization present more complex problems of continuity, definition and characterization, especially for one attempting to sum up the essence of Islamic art in a few short pages. Some have argued that the whole notion of Islamic art is flawed–that the continuum of culture, pre-Islamic to post-Islamic, in the various parts of the Islamic world made the art of regions much more important than any common artistic factors shared across the entire Islamic world. However, ...