Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What is David Morgan reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David Morgan, author of The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity.

His entry begins:
At the moment I am reading three deeply suggestive books, classics in their own right: Friedrich Schiller’s Aesthetic Education of Man (1795), Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens (1950), and Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment (1976). The three work together very well because at the heart of each is a rich appreciation of the nature of play. This is directly relevant for my current book project, whose title is Images at Work: The Material Culture of Enchantment. Schiller argued that human beings are...[read on]
About The Forge of Vision, from the publisher:
Religions teach their adherents how to see and feel at the same time; learning to see is not a disembodied process but one hammered from the forge of human need, social relations, and material practice. David Morgan argues that the history of religions may therefore be studied through the lens of their salient visual themes. The Forge of Vision tells the history of Christianity from the sixteenth century through the present by selecting the visual themes of faith that have profoundly influenced its development. After exploring how distinctive Catholic and Protestant visual cultures emerged in the early modern period, Morgan examines a variety of Christian visual practices, ranging from the imagination, visions of nationhood, the likeness of Jesus, the material life of words, and the role of modern art as a spiritual quest, to the importance of images for education, devotion, worship, and domestic life. An insightful, informed presentation of how Christianity has shaped and continues to shape the modern world, this work is a must-read for scholars and students across fields of religious studies, history, and art history.
Learn more about The Forge of Vision at the University of California Press website.

Writers Read: David Morgan.

--Marshal Zeringue