The Materiality of Divine Agency (Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records (Saner) #8) (Hardcover)
Two topics of current critical interest, agency and materiality, are here explored in the context of their intersection with the divine. Specific case studies, emphasizing the ancient Near East but including treatments also of the European Middle Ages and ancient Greece, elucidate the nature and implications of this intersection: What is the relationship between the divine and the particular matter or physical form in which it is materially represented or mentally visualized? How do sacral or divine "things" act, and what is the source and nature of their agency? How might we productively define and think about anthropomorphism in relation to the divine? What is the relationship between the mental and the material image, and between the categories of object and image, image and likeness, and likeness and representation? Drawing on a broad range of written and pictorial sources, this volume is a novel contribution to the contemporary discourse on the functioning and communicative potential of the material and materialized divine as it is developing in the fields of anthropology, art history, and the history and cognitive science of religion.
Beate Pongratz-Leisten, New York University, NY; Karen Sonik, Auburn University, AL.