Morgan understands gaze as a range of ways of seeing and a set of practices.
It is "the visual network that constitutes a social act of looking" p. Having established this "thick" understanding of gaze, the first part of the book is devoted to questions and definitions surrounding visuality in religion. Here, in chapter one, visual culture is discussed and defined as, "what images, acts of seeing, and attendant intellectual, emotional, and perceptual sensibilities do to build, maintain, or transform the worlds in which people live" p.
The second chapter examines visual practice and the functions of images, providing a very useful sevenfold typology for the latter that includes imagining community, Author: Stephen Pattison. The God Delusion 10th Anniversary Edition.
Approaches to Visual Culture and Religion
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In The Sacred Gaze David Morgan provides an important introductory text that will help readers in many disciplines to see the value of studying visual culture for the scholarly study of religion. His aim is to move understandings of religion far beyond the creeds and words that have dominated the study of scriptural religions.
The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice
The book is mainly exemplified in terms of Western Christianity. However, Morgan has a considerable understanding of a number of world religious traditions. He argues that his approach might be applied far beyond the Protestantism of North America, the visual culture in which he is most expert. Morgan understands gaze as a range of ways of seeing and a set of practices.