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  • ISBN: 9780252018633
  • ISBN10: 025201863X

Word and Light: Seeing, Hearing, and Religious Discourse

by Chidester, David

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publish date: 03/01/1992
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Word and Light brings religious discourse back to its senses in this provocative examination of the importance of sight and sound to religious symbols, myths, rituals, and traditions. The book examines the unexpected implications of three theses. First, religious symbols, particularly the perceptual symbols of "word" and "light", are grounded in the senses of hearing and seeing. Second, the senses of sight and hearing generate different ranges of symbolic association important to religious discourse. Finally, differing ranges of symbolic association often are fused in the combinations, mergers, and transfers of the senses known as synesthesia. Using a series of case studies in western religious discourse, David Chidester analyzes the importance of sight and hearing especially in the work of Augustine but also in that of Philo, Arius, Athanasius, Bonaventure, and Melanchthon. He examines the dynamics of seeing, hearing, and synesthetic mergers of the senses to suggest new ways of understanding religion.
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