Is there something unique about Islamic art? This book argues that there is not -- that Islam does not play an leading role in the aesthetic judgements that we should make about objects created in the Islamic world. It is often argued that a very special sort of consciousness went into creating Islamic art, that it is very different from other forms of art, that Muslims are not allowed to portray human beings in their art, and that calligraphy is the supreme Islamic art form. Oliver Leaman challenges all these ideas, showing them to be misguided.
Instead he suggests that the sort of criteria we should apply to Islamic art are identical to the criteria applicable to art in general, and that the attempt to put Islamic art into a special category is a result of orientalism Key Features: *Criticises the influence of Sufism on Islamic aesthetics *Deals with issues arising in painting, calligraphy, architecture, gardens, literature, films, and music *Pays close attention to the Qur'an *Argument includes examples from history, art, philosophy, theology and the artefacts of the Islamic world The reader is invited to view Islamic art as no more and no less than ordinary art, neither better nor worse than anything else that counts as art. It follows that there are no special techniques required in Islamic aesthetics as compared with any other form of aesthetics.
Oliver Leaman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky. He has written and edited several books on philosophy.
Foreword; Introduction; 1. Eleven Common Mistakes about Islamic Art; 2. God as Creator, Calligraphy and Symbolism; 3. Religion, Style and Art; 4. Literature; 5. Music; 6. Home and Garden; 7. The Miraculousness of the Qur'an; 8. Philosophy and Ways of Seeing; 9. Interpreting Art, Interpreting Islam, Interpreting Philosophy; Notes; Bibliography; Index of Qur'anic Passages; Index.