"Aisha's Cushion" emphasizes Islam's perceptual and intellectual modes, offering insight into Islamic visual culture. Elias offers comparisons with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu attitudes toward religious art, and investigates how religious objects have been understood across time and in different cultures.
Elias reveals the complexity of Islamic attitudes toward representational religious art in a global context. He explores Islamic societies at the time of Muhammad and the birth of Islam, during early contact between Arab Muslims and Byzantine Christians, and in medieval Anatolia and India.
Prof. Jamal Elias
Elias is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania.
Elias has written and lectured widely on the religion, literature, history, art and culture of the Islamic world and his writings have been translated into at least eight languages. His recent books include "On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan" and "Key Themes for the Study of Islam."