EUROPEAN MOMENTS IN THE MAKING OF ISLAM’S “IMAGE PROBLEM”

  • When: November 3, 2016 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Where: 18 Waverly Place
  • Summary: EUROPEAN MOMENTS IN THE MAKING OF ISLAM'S "IMAGE PROBLEM"
  • Details:

    THURSDAY / NOVEMBER 3 / 6-7:30PM
    Torch Club
    18 Waverly Place

    THE LERNER WORKSHOP IN RELIGION AND SOCIETY

    EUROPEAN MOMENTS IN THE MAKING OF ISLAM’S “IMAGE PROBLEM”

    Have Europeans, in their own representations of Islam, contributed equally, or even more, to the sense that Islam prohibits the use of images?

    Lecture by FINBARR BARRY FLOOD (Institute of Fine Arts & Department of Art History, NYU)

    Presented by the NYU Religious Studies Program

    Co-sponsor: Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

    The text connected with this image begins by describing the life of Buddha, who al-Biruni credits with bringing Buddhism to Iran, and who is associated with the Sabians, a group living in northern Mesopotamia who practice a form of astral worship. In the Qur’an, Abraham is described as hostile to the worship of the heavenly bodies and also opposed to the worship of idols. In this scene, however, the artist has ignored the connection of the Sabians with the astral worship, and has opted instead to depict Abraham striking a golden Buddhist statute with an axe. Buddhist statues relate back to the identity of the Buddhists and the Sabians that al-Biruni mentions in the introduction of the story of Abraham.