The Religious Studies Project is an international collaborative organization publishing weekly podcasts with leading scholars worldwide on the social-scientific study of religion. On April 6 they published a nearly one-hour long conversation around a recent volume co-edited by professor Terje Stordalen, TF: Figurations and Sensations of the Unseen in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Contested Desires (Bloomsbury, 2019). The interview is conducted by Candace Mixon for the RSN, and it features professor Birgit Meyer, Utrecht in addition to professor Stordalen.
The title for the podcast is “Challenging the Normative Stance of Aniconism in the Study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”. The RSP editor says the volume brings new and innovative perspectives to the analysis of these three religious traditions, which are so often presumed to be image-unfriendly. It also sheds new light on the afterlife of this figurative cultural heritage in current day Western Europe. Seeing all use, as well as professed non-use, of figurations as part of different aesthetic regimes, the volume pleads for a more critical and nuanced approach to the roles of figurations and sensations in these religious traditions.