IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 518: Logic, Allegory, and the Natural World

Tuesday 8 July 2008, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Paper 518-bFitra and Tabi'ya: Man's Nature between Creation and Philosophy in Al-Ghazali
(Language: English)
Zora Hesova, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Index terms: Anthropology, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Philosophy, Religious Life
Paper 518-cThe World as Frame: Measure, Vision, and Perspective in the Allegorical Body-Worlds of Opicino de Canistris (1296-1354)
(Language: English)
Karl Peter Whittington, University of California, Berkeley
Index terms: Art History - General, Geography and Settlement Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Science

Paper -b:
The notion of nature of man in medieval Islamic philosophy exemplifies the tension of the concept of nature between the religious term of creation and the rational explanation of natural order.Fitra as a Koranic term, denotes man’s created disposition for morality or religion; tabi’ya is used in explaining his natural endowment for attaining knowledge. Both theological and philosophical approach combine in the work of the prominent Islamic scholar Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. The paper will attempt to describe the double nature in Ghazali’s religious and philosophical anthropology and its place in the context of Islamic scholarship.
Paper -c:
This paper explores how the diagrams and drawings of Opicino de Canistris, a 14th-century Italian artist and priest, used the natural world to frame divine allegory. In my research on Opicino, I aim to turn the discussion of him away from his unusual biography and writings, and back towards the drawings themselves – how they visualize connections between visible and invisible worlds through a combination of empirical cartographic representation and religious allegory. Opicino employs the measured space of contemporary portolan charts, I argue, to give legitimacy to his complex allegorical visions, and the drawings present Opicino as the architect of a new image of the natural world – one seen by God but measured by man.