Synopses & Reviews
The insightful studies contained in this book will be of significant value to anyone interested in experiencing more deeply the intersections between materiality and spirituality. Part 1 introduces readers into Egyptian, Israelite, Christian, and Hindu temples, shrines, or sanctuaries. Part 2 helps readers understand how items of colored fabrics, clothing, robes, and veils, convey ritual meanings. Part 3 reports two panel discussions that exemplify the pathway of fruitful conversation. Matter and spirit might seem to some to be polar opposites. But as these studies by distinguished and diverse scholars demonstrate, spiritual experiences are constructively defined and refined within the coordinates of place and time. Sacred space, as well as sacred cloth, define borders, but not necessarily boundaries, between the sacred and the profane. These material coordinates physically enclose and also spiritually disclose. They both symbolize and synergize, as they encompass and expansively inspire. These original and enjoyable presentations will help all readers to hold tenaciously to the tenets and also the tensions inherent in physical spiritual experiences. ""Creative academics are pushing back on the one-hundred-year-old specialization of academic disciplines. These scholars study fields, not narrow disciplines. They do cultural and visual history, and enrich our understanding with 'thick descriptions.' The scholars who have contributed to this fascinating volume make use of a whole array of approaches--including the study of color, smell, space, clothing, music--that, taken together, shed a much needed, more comprehensive and creative light on sacred space and performance."" --James L. Heft, SM, Alton Brooks Professor of Religion, President, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC John W. Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, editor-in-chief of BYU Studies Quarterly, and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at USC and with the John A. Widtsoe Foundation. Jacob Rennaker is Scholar in Residence and Director of the John A. Widtsoe Foundation.