This is the first book in the English Language to deal with the spiritual significance of islamic art including not only the plastic arts but also literature and music. Rather than dealing with the history of the various arts of Islam or their description, the author relates the form, content, symybolic language, meaning and presence of these arts to the very sources of the Islamic revelation. Relying upon his extensive knowledge of the Islamic religion in both its exoteric and esoteric dimensions as well as the various Islamic sceinces, the author relates Islamic art to the inner dimension of the Islamic revelation and the spiritually which has issued from it. He brings out the spiritual significance of the Islamic arts ranging from architecture to music as seen, heard and experienced by one living within the universe of the islamic tradition. Through his treatment the forms of Islamic art become transparent and reveal their proper significance. In this work the reader is made to understand the meaning of Islamic art for those living within the civilization which created it. The book, however, addresses itself to all those who are attracted to the study of art in its relation to spirituality as well as to those who seek to understand more fully the Islamic religion and the civilization it brought into being.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Tehran, where he received his early education in Tehran. He later studied scenince, philosophy and the history of scinence at MIT and Harvard Univerity in Ameririca. For over 20 year he was a Professor at Tehran University. He also served as Dean and Vice Chancellor of Tehran University and Chancellor of Aryamehr University. He was the founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy and is presently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington America. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the world and was the first Muslm scholar to deliver the Gifford Lectures. He is the author of over 20 books which has been translated into numerous languages, and he also has been involved over the years in the study of the meaning of Islamic art and architecture and in their preservation and propagation.
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