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Book "Spirits in Transcultural Skies"

Jan 03, 2015

"Spirits in Transcultural Skies" is a new book edited by Prof. Niels Gutschow and Dr. Katharina Weiler. It is part of the Cluster’s book series "Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context".

The volume investigates the visualization of both ritual and decorative aspects of auspiciousness and protection in the form of celestial characters in art and architecture. In doing so, it covers more than two and a half millennia and a broad geographical area, documenting a practice found in nearly every corner of the world. Its transcultural approach aims at gaining insights into cultural dynamics and consistent networks and defining new historical mindmaps; it examines reciprocal effects and aspects of interwovenness in art and architecture with a view to reconceptualizing their established realms. The collection opens a window on a phenomenon in the history of art and architecture that has never before been considered from this perspective. The book focuses on a transcultural iconography of aerial spirits, goddesses and gods in art history, pursuing a methodologically innovative approach in order to redefine and develop the practice of identification and classification of motifs as a means to understanding meaning, and attempting to challenge the categories defined by academic disciplines.

Edited by Niels Gutschow and Katharina Weiler from the Cluster's research project D4 "Aspects of Authenticity", the book also presents contributions by Kai Michael Töpfer, Shervin Farridnejad, Angelika Konrad-Schineller, Sara Kuehn, Chari Pradel, Ebba Koch, and Rabindra J. Vasavada.

The book "Spirits in Transcultural Skies - Auspicious and Protective Spirits in Artefacts and Architecture Between East and West” - 221 pages - was published in 2014 by the academic publishing house Springer. It is part of the Cluster’s book series "Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context". The series presents peer-reviewed books by members of the Cluster as well as scholars from both historical and empirical disciplines who are working on new emerging fields that cross existing disciplinary boundaries.


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