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Some unwritten stories only exist in fragments. In this book, for the first time, the histories of the injunction against idolatry and the dread of infinity are uniquely woven into one. The spectre of idolatry has haunted the three Western religions since the biblical prohibition. The story of iconoclasm runs from ancient times, where Jews largely ignored the ban on images, through the iconoclastic episodes in Islam and Christianity, and into modern times during the French Revolution. A perhaps surprising thesis of this book is that a conceptual and secular form of iconoclasm continued as the revulsion of illusionism in Modern Art. More recently it flared-up in the dynamiting of two large statues of the Buddha by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The phobia of infinity arose from Pythagoras's discovery of irrational numbers and it runs through Zeno's paradoxes and Aristotle's philosophy, with only rare cases of defiance, such as Archimedes searching for pi. The angst over infinity continued through the Middle Ages with the theological encounter of an infinite God, as in the writings of Thomas Aquinas, only to be confronted in the Renaissance philosophy of Cusa. At the same time, infinity arose unexpectedly in visual art with the discovery of linear perspective where God was identified with the vanishing point. In the 17th and 18th centuries infinity further emerged not only in the very, very large (the cosmos itself), but in the very, very small (within calculus). This paved the way in the 19th and 20th centuries for the idea of different orders of infinity codified by Georg Cantor, where the concept mingled again with theology. Math and science buffs familiar with some aspects of infinity may first learn of its link with art, as well as a long association with theology - right up to the present. With lucid visual aids for the uninitiated, this book may likewise grant the Art lover access into a previously uncharted territory - a math venture to stretch the mind.
This expansive four-volume encyclopedia presents a broad introduction to Islam that enables learning about the fundamental role of Islam in world history and promotes greater respect for cultural diversity. • Comprises concise, jargon-free entries written by experts in their fields, providing readers with accurate viewpoints that cut through the bias and controversies regarding most Islamic concepts • Supplies an authoritative introduction of Islam to Western readers that addresses the subject from historical, geographical, conceptual, and personal perspectives • Provides students with a current bibliography • Features color inserts with 16 pages of compelling images from Islam around the world in each volume
American artist Paul Ré invites us to join him on his journey for harmony, wisdom, and inner joy with Art, Peace, and Transcendence. His hybrid hand-digital prints, Réograms, are a unique art form very different from the Rayograms made in the twentieth century by the American Surrealist Man Ray. Ré’s digital prints are computer manipulations of the drawings, paintings, and sculpture he has created over his forty-year career—the transformations may be mild or dramatic, each manually massaged into a harmonious whole. Commentary by the artist, drawing from his background in physics, philosophy, and the practice of yoga and meditation, accompanies the fifty-eight full-page plates, placing each piece in its historical context. Bridging the lines of art and science, Ré takes us on a discovery of our oneness with the whole of the universe and the source from which it emerged.
"This is a very independent-minded book, wide-ranging in its examples and global in its ambitions. Our Distance from God goes its own way through point-by-point analyses of selected Christian artworks, in search of signs of the distance between the human and the divine. In the end, its broad reach does for the theology of visual monuments what David Summers's Real Spaces did for their phenomenology."—James Elkins, author of The Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art "In clear and lucid prose, James Herbert offers a new perspective on several important artistic projects–pictorial, architectural, and musical–in the Western tradition, revealing the deep tension (sometimes productive, sometimes disabling) between representations of the world empirically known to human beings and of sacred realities not 'of this world' that figure 'our distance from God.' These sacred images engage and even express the immeasurable gap between humanity and God and help us traverse or transcend it; they work between literal spatial distances and metaphysical or spiritual distances. Herbert's deft and persuasive interpretations, which shed new light on interactions between art and theological speculation, will be highly informative for a wide range of readers–in art history, musicology, cultural history, aesthetics, and religious studies."—Whitney Davis, University of California, Berkeley
There is no unique target audience for this book, since "Einstein" is a topic that appeals to a wide range of readers, but which also often scares off many others. Without technical jargon and any mathematics, this little book is the brief story of Einstein's life and work accessible to readers who otherwise may never open a book on this topic.
What is art history? Why, how and where did it originate, and how have its aims and methods changed over time? This work is a guide to understanding art history through a critical reading of the field's most influential texts over the past two centuries.

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