Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
There exist numerous questions about religious art – especially Islamic art –at the heart of contemporary art studies. One of these questions regards the quiddity of the principles of religious art. The importance of this question derives from the fact that contrary to the stance taken by some contemporary works that believe this issue has not been discussed by Muslim thinkers in the previous centuries, it has a deep-rooted history. To address this problem, the article at hand compares two different viewpoints, namely the viewpoint of Mulla Sadra as the biggest Muslim philosopher in recent centuries and the stance of Burkhart, the contemporary Western philosopher who has examined enthusiastically and seriously the philosophical art domain within the Islamic art. As we will see, this comparison brought about common results originating from the monotheistic view as well as an emphasis on the existential aspect of art, but through two different methodologies. While Burkhart uses phenomenology to report the representation of existence – as the quiddity of art – through the displays, colors, and quantities in the Islamic artworks, Mulla Sadra adopts an attributive path that focuses on the equality of existence and beauty in the eyes of Islamic art performers and beholders.