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Lecture 2

RLG305H1 Lecture 2: The Sacred Gaze


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG305H1
Professor
Simon Coleman
Lecture
2

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The Sacred Gaze
Visual culture
Sacred gaze- not secular or sacred
Visuality and its relation to religion
Seeing relating to believing
How does action…
Sacred gaze-freedberg Image have agency and image is active in certain kind of way
because the power in the image is embedded in our response of that image
Looking is a particular form of practice
The active responses to the holders to images is based on the assumption of the efficacy
of these images. In other words we assume images have power and we respond to it in a
certain kind of way.
Affect vs. efficacy
What is it that images might do and how is it form our response? What they do is create
certain form of emotional responses often associated with a physiological response,
which actually goes beyond consciousness. In other words we might have a theological
interpretation of images but we might also have an emotional response to it or an
affective response to it.
Why do people like Teddy bears? Teddy bears have an unusually large face and eyes
according to their body. A teddy bear looks like a baby. The large eyes staring at you. It
has a certain kind of shape that is beyond our control. How do you look at the physiology
of image?
What do you do in a Cathedral? You look up. If you look up it has a physiological affect
on you. Buildings constructed in a way that you can respond to. When you walk through
the door it creates an entrance that makes you look up. Going beyond the textual and the
content.
David Morgan well lets assume that responses that we may have towards images it
shapes by the process and practice of looking. How different people look in different
religions and different practices.
Different ways of meditating.
Meditation is a way of bringing different physiological practices together. They might be
bringing your mind into a certain kind of alignment. Your lack of speech in a certain kind
of alignment. And your body in a certain kind of image Focus on a mantra or an image
focus on your favorite thing. These are ways of drawing both consciousness and
imagination which affect and the body together to a certain kind of alignment. Its a
physiological practice a set bodily practice bringing everything together not to do with
theology.
Indication is seeing itself must be seen as a form of practices. Variety of practices that we
need to look at differently even though we take it for granted.
We need to view our understanding of seeing itself from implicit to the explicit and
understanding how it might work. We see in a new kind of way.
Images are prompting our responses.
Vision as culture image are prompting exerting in images are prompting our responses
but our responses themselves are predicated on something things we learned the
consciousness and the affect in our lives.
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