Sacred Art & Sacred Knowledge

Sacred Art,  Sacred Knowledge
      A collection of quotes & excerpts from Islamic Scholars  
      Plus, my own comments & experiences relating to this topic and my creative process

           "Gorgon's Mask"   from the project  Crystalline Paradise
                 click on image to enlarge

This webpage, though not an official chapter of "An Imaginary Book" is nonetheless an important part of my creative process associated with "the book."  Below you will find my collection of excerpted writings by several important Islamic scholars on the theme Sacred Art, Sacred Knowledge.  As you will see, my interests have focused especially on the Prophetic, Qur'anic and Sufic aspects of Islam.  The material is organized in five sections: 

Definitions of Words and Concepts 
Books extensively excerpted 
Writings by Steven D. Foster
Recommended books
Project titles & links for "An Imaginary Book"

Sacred Art, Sacred Knowledge is a "work in progress"; as I continue to read new materials I will be adding to the present collection.   

Steven D Foster
Last revision: July,  2013.  

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Words & Concepts

Sacred   click here

Presence   click here

Symbol  click here

Veil  click here

Creative Imagination & Active Imagination  click here

Silence & Symbol  click here

Intuition, Correspondence, Contemplation, Symbol, The Imaginal World  click here

Beauty  click here

Infinity and Beauty  click here

Ritual and Art   click here

Ritual Prayer of Islam  click here

Nature  click here

Modes of Being  click here

The Visionary Recital   click here

Arabesque (Islamic Art)  click here

Icon & Idol  click here

Aniconism & Abstract Imagery  click here 

The Tree of Life  click here 

The World as a Book  click here

The Void in Islamic Art  click here

The Point of Origin 
The Void 
The Cross 
The Crystallization of Form  click here

The Three-Dimensional Cross  click here

The Recurrence of Creation  click here

The Divine Breath & The Cloud of Ibn 'Arabi  click here

The Light and Colors of Sufism  click here

The Midnight Sun  click here

The Traveler,  Seeker,  Stranger: Pontifical Man  click here

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Books extensively excerpted  
click on the blue hyperlinks below the titles 
to open and read the text selections

Sacred Art in East and West  1958/1967/2001 
Titus Burckhardt:
Click here 

Art from the Sacred to the Profane ~ East and West 2007
Frithjof  Schuon  (1907-1998) 

Language of the Self  1959
Frithjof  Schuon  (1907-1998) 

Knowledge and the Sacred  1981/1989
Seyyed Hossein Nasr  
click here 

Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam
An Architectural Reading of Mystical Ideas  (2005)
Samer Akkach  
click here 

Symbolism, the Sacred, the Arts
A collection of essays by Mircea Eliade, ed. by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona
click here

Thomas Cheetham : Henry Corbin  click here
The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism 2003  (first book in a series of 4)
All the World an Icon: Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of Beings 2012 (book #4 in a series of 4)

Henry Corbin : Avicenna and the Visionary Recital:     click here

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by Steven D. Foster

The Symbolic Photograph : A Means to Self-Knowledge  
Steven D. Foster, MFA Written Thesis, 1972
click here 

Selected Writings, Remembrances a collection of personal essays
Steven D. Foster
click here 

About Steven D. Foster
After traveling to Turkey in the spring of 2011 Steven Foster spent the next two years making Four-fold Symmetrical Photographs inspired by the traditional wisdom and the sacred art of Islam.  He has created a series of 9 core projects inspired by his experiences and his studies: for a brief introductory overview of the entire series, with sample images and linked titles to each of the online projects, please visit: "An Imaginary Book": The Complete Collection of Projects.   To learn more about Steven Foster, and for contact information visit:  Steven D Foster.

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Recommended Books 

Martin Lings:  Splendors of Qur'an Calligraphy and Illumination

Martin Lings:  Symbol & Archetpe

Martin Lings:  What is Sufism?

Martin Lings:  A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century

Titus Burckhardt:  Art of Islam - Language and Meaning  1976/2009 

Titus Burckhardt:  Sacred Art in East and West  1958/1967/2001 

Titus Burckhardt:  Morrish Culture In Spain  1970/72/99

Frithjof  Schuon:  Art from the Sacred to the Profane ~ East and West  2007

Frithjof  Schuon:  Language of the Self  1959

Frithjof  Schuon:  Art from the Sacred to the Profane - East and West  2007

Rene Guenon:  The Symbolism of the Cross  1931/2001

Seyyed Hossein Nasr:  Knowledge and the Sacred  1981/1989

Seyyed Hossein Nasr:  Islamic Art and Spirituality  1987

Seyyed Hossein Nasr:  Man and Nature  The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man  1997

Seyyed Hossein Nasr:  Sufi Essays  1971/99

Seyyed Hossein Nasr:  The Garden of Truth  The Vision and Promise of Sufism 2007

Keith Critchlow:  Islamic Patterns  An Analytical and Cosmological Approach  1999/76

Samer Akkach: Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam  An Architectural 
     Reading of Mystical Ideas  2005  I highly recommend this book, which is available for 
     free online (click here).

Laleh Bakhtiar:  Sufi  Expressions of the Mystic Quest  1976

Laleh Bakhtiar:  The Sense of Unity  The Sufi Tradition in Persion Architecture

Emma Clark:  The Art of the Islamic Garden   2004/10

Annemarie Schimmel:  Mystical Dimensions of Islam  1975

Tom Cheetham:  The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic 
     Mysticism 2003  (book#1 in a series of 4)

Tom Cheetham:  Green Man Earth Angel  The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle of 
     the Soul for the World   2004  

Tom Cheetham:  After Prophesy  Imagination, Incarnation .....   2007

Thomas Cheetham:  All the World an Icon: Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of 
     Beings 2012  (book #4 in a series of 4)

Henry Corbin:  The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism

Henry Corbin:  Alone with the Alone Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi

Henry Corbin:  Avicenna and the Visionary Recital

Henry Corbin:  Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth

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Ettinghausen, Grabar, Jenkins-Mdina: Islamic Art and Archeticture  650-1250

S. Sahin: The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts: Thirteen Centuries of Glory 2009

Mircea Eliade:  Symbolism, the Sacred, the Arts  A collection of essays  
     Edited by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona  1985

Art, Creativity, and the Sacred, edited by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona  1985

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This link includes one selected image and a brief introduction to each of the projects listed above

Welcome Page  to The Departing Landscape website which includes the complete hyperlinked listing of my online photography projects dating back to the 1960's, my resume, contact information, and more.