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O'Meara, Simon (2019) 'Haptic Vision: Making Surface Sense of Islamic Material Culture.' In: Skeates, Robin and Day, Jo, (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 467-480.

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This chapter argues that in Sunni Islam, vision is normatively configured as a sense more haptic than optical. Sight touches, glances. It does not see through; that is the prerogative of God, rulers, and mystics, and one of the joys of Paradise. In support of this argument, the chapter additionally shows how early to premodern Islamic art and architecture both reinforce and delight in this haptically configured vision: how superficiality is celebrated and depth eschewed.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History of Art and Archaeology
ISBN: 9781138676299
Copyright Statement: © 2020 selection and editorial matter, Robin Skeates and Jo Day; individual chapters, the contributors. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a chapter published by Taylor & Francis in The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology on 13 November 2019, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 10:38

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