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Mirror of the Divine
Art in the Baha'i World Community

Author: Ludwig Tuman
Product Code: MOD
ISBN: 978-0-85398-333-0
Publisher: George Ronald, Publisher
Pages: 326
Availability: In stock
Price: $15.95


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Due to popular demand, this book is now available again at a reduced price. An essential resource for the study of core, universal concepts in the arts. This book derives from the Bahá’í teachings a new, world-embracing and stimulating vision of the arts and their practice.

After laying a broad groundwork to understand the arts from a spiritual perspective, Mirror of the Divine draws on the Bahá’í Writings to offer solutions to many of the practical challenges faced by artists and communities in today’s global environment.


- What is the nature of the spiritual role the arts can play in a new era?
- What are the many ways the arts can contribute to the well-being of humanity?


- How can artists find coherence between their vocational practice and spiritual life?


- Should creative work done in the crafts be regarded on an equal footing with work done in the “fine arts”?
- In helping to build a new, world-wide community, how can artists find a balance between cultural continuity and innovation?
- When translating inspiration into a finished piece, what resources and choices does a spiritually oriented artist have? What are the hidden dynamics at work?
- In a shrinking world, how can artists learn from one another’s cultures while respecting cultural integrity?
- What does unity in diversity in the arts look like on a global scale?


The only book of its kind, it is a product of many years of research and writing undertaken by author Ludwig Tuman. Drawing on over 200 quotations from the Bahá’í Writings relevant to the arts (many of which are not found in compilations on the arts), and with over 100 illustrations, it has much to offer not only to artists but also to all who have an interest in the arts.

Some of the arts referenced include:


Architecture ~ Beadwork ~ Calligraphy ~ Ceramics ~ Clothing design ~ Dance ~ Embroidery ~ Environmental design ~ Film ~ Floral design ~ Garden & Landscape design ~ Industrial design ~ Interior design ~ Jewelry ~ Literature ~ Metalwork ~ Music ~ Origami ~ Painting ~ Photography ~ Poetry ~ Pottery ~ Puppetry ~ Rug-weaving ~ Sandpainting ~ Sculpture ~ Stained glass-setting ~ Stonework ~ Story-telling ~ Tapestry ~ Theater ~ Urban design ~ Wall mosaics ~ Woodcraft

Reviews

Average Rating:
(based on 4 reviews)

Showing 4 Reviews:

RatingReviewerReview
by Arya
on 12/15/2017
from Hockley
A go-to manual for thinking about the spiritual in art
Key reading for spiritually-minded artists of all disciplines who are looking for a manifesto to guide their work. This is my reference manual for thinking about a new conceptual framework for the arts. My copy is completely marked up with notes on every page and in every margin. It's even more relevant today than when it was originally published.

There is so much packed in this book. The author redefines the purpose of art, breaks down the broken silos are is created within, and presents a new spiritually-inspired framework. He talks about the purpose of art being spiritual enrichment and not simply for pleasure. Pleasure is a byproduct, not the aim of art. He discusses the harm done by the classification of art into "fine" and "applied" categories and that this creates false dichotomies. He discusses the role of the arts and the role of the artist in great depth, shedding light on the responsibility artists have for the work they bring into the world.
by Sarah Perceval
on 12/14/2017
from London
A Unique and Inspiring Reflection on Art, the Artist and the Divine
This very unique book is the perfect reference for anyone interested on deepening their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between art, the artist and the Divine, and anyone looking to reflect more profoundly on the spiritual nature of art, and the role the artist can choose to have in society.

Of particular interest were the ideas presented about art as a benefit and upliftment to humanity, art as a service to humankind and the Divine, and the potential art has to uplift and inspire the soul. The chapter on the artist's role was very thought provoking, and the whole book is thoroughly researched and very detailed.

Although the ideas are presented from a Baha'i perspective, it would be a really inspiring and informative book for anyone searching for self development through creativity, or looking to penetrate the powerful and mystical role an artist can have in the spiritual life of humanity. 

An exquisite collection of ideas and inspiration, beautifully put together. 
by Beth Yazhari
on 11/18/2017
from Lake Oswego, OR
A spiritual antidote for artists
Ludwig Tuman expresses many profound and thought-provoking ideas in this inspiring, well-researched book, which explores at length the relationship between the artist and the society in which she lives. I read it before attending art school 20 years ago, and I am so glad I did, because it profoundly influenced my approach to the classes I took. Rather than getting sucked into the still prevalent notion that painting and sculpture are somehow intrinsically more worthy of being "high art" than textiles, for example, I was given a framework for judging a work of art by the creativity, spirit and skill of its maker, rather than by the material from which it was made. In rereading the book recently, I was particularly struck by the Tuman's assertions that “…a work of art tends to reveal its maker’s character, and would tend to do so even if he were to mask his character in his work," (p. 106), and that "The golden mean...is to combine freedom of expression with an attitude of service to humanity." (p. 115) From a sociological perspective, this book offers a fascinating take on the artist's role in a newly global community, one in which "cultures everywhere appear to be undergoing a crisis of identity as they seek to reconcile their relatively insular past with their new position in a neighborhood of nations" (p. 178). These few quotes are only the tiniest taste of what this wonderful book has to offer--if you are interested in exploring the role of the artist in our challenging modern social environment, this book is for you!​
by Arya
on 11/17/2017
from USA
A go-to manual for thinking about the spiritual in art
This is my reference manual for thinking about a new conceptual framework for the arts. There is so much packed in this book. I wish it were more widely known. The author redefines the purpose of art, breaks down the broken silos art is created within, and presents a new spiritually-inspired framework. He talks about the purpose of art being spiritual enrichment and not simply pleasure. Pleasure is a byproduct, not the aim of art. He discusses the harm done by the classification of art into "fine" and "applied" categories and that this creates false dichotomies. He then proposes a new vocabulary to differentiate between "seraffic" art with the purpose of enhancing spiritual well-being (like music), "donnic" art for material well-being (like cooking), and "seraffo-donnic" art that addresses both at the same time (like architecture). He discusses the role of the arts and the role of the artist in great depth, shedding light on the responsibility artists have for the work they bring into 
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