Event Category: Berkeley Seminars in Art and Religion

The “Sacred” and the “Holy” (haram in Arabic and, to some extent, al-quds or al-muqaddas), are Semitic words (see Herem and Kadosh in Hebrew) denoting the act of separation, parting, or setting aside, and imply the apparent human faculty of setting distinctive borders between holy and profane zones. Constrained to time, these spaces become chronotopes. … Continue reading
The image of Islam in the West has been consistently informed by the idea that Islam fosters distinctive attitudes towards the image. Recent controversies about Islam, aniconism and iconoclasm are typical in this respect, often taking the idea of an Islamic Bilderverbot (image prohibition) as a given. Seen from the perspective of the longue durée, … Continue reading
Film Screening and Discussion The documentary If I Give My Soul began the day that co-director Andrew Johnson checked into a Brazilian prison, where he would spend two weeks living as an inmate. He ate the same food, slept in the same cells and went through the routines as if he were incarcerated in an … Continue reading
In the fifteenth century, Persian book painting becomes filled with extra-textual figures, deviating from and subverting the textual story they supposedly illustrate. Through a careful analysis of aspects of facture and composition, combined with an exploration of primary art historiographical sources, this talk suggests that this departure from illustration transformed the painting into a reflexive … Continue reading
The sudden revelation of a powerful religious calling was an entirely unexpected event in the life of a college student named Lauren. But when it became clear to her that she had a spiritual vocation, she made the exceptional decision to dedicate her life to God. Drawing upon many visits to the cloistered religious community … Continue reading