by Ludwig Tuman
An essential resource for study of the core, universal concepts in the arts. This book derives from them Baha’i teachings a new, world-embracing and stimulating vision of the arts and their practice.
"…key reading for spiritually-minded artists of all disciplines who are looking for a manifesto to guide their work.” ~ Arya Badiyan, writer, painter
After laying a broad groundwork to understand the arts from a spiritual perspective, Mirror of the Divine draws again on the Baha’i Writings to offer solutions to many of the practical challenges faced by artists and communities in today’s global environment.
- What is the nature of the spiritual role the arts can play in a new era?
- What are the many ways the arts can contribute to the well-being of humanity?
- Should creative work done in the crafts be regarded on an equal footing with work done in the "fine arts”?
- In helping to build a new, world-wide community, how can artists find a balance between cultural continuity and innovation?
- When translating inspiration into a finished piece, what resources and choices does a spirituallyoriented artist have? What are the hidden dynamics at work?
- In a shrinking world, how can artists learn from one another’s cultures without undermining cultural integrity?
- What does unity in diversity in the arts look like on a global scale?
These are just a few of the fascinating and vital questions to which Mirror of the Divine offers answers. The only book of its kind in Bahá’í literature, it is a product of many years of research and writing undertaken by author Ludwig Tuman. With over 200 quotations from the Bahá’í Writings relevant to the arts (many of which are not found in compilations on the arts), and over 100 illustrations, it is important not only for artists but also for all who have an interest in the arts.
Some of the arts referenced in Mirror of the Divine (in alphabetical order):
Architecture ~ Beadwork ~ Calligraphy ~ Ceramics ~ Clothing design ~ Dance ~ Embroidery ~ Environmental design ~ Film ~ Floral design ~ Garden & Landscape design ~ Industrial design ~ Interior design ~ Jewelry ~ Literature ~ Metalwork ~ Music ~ Origami ~ Painting ~ Photography ~ Poetry ~ Pottery ~ Puppetry ~ Rug-weaving ~ Sandpainting ~ Sculpture ~ Stained glass-setting ~ Stonework ~ Story-telling ~ Tapestry ~ Theater ~ Urban design ~ Wall mosaics ~ Woodcraft
Some responses to Mirror of the Divine:
"This is my reference manual for thinking about a new conceptual framework for the arts. There is so much packed in this book. The author discusses the role of the arts and the role of the artist in great depth, shedding light on the responsibility artists have for the work they bring into the world. My copy is completely marked up with notes on every page and in every margin. ~ Arya Badiyan, writer, painter, publisher
"Ludwig Tuman expresses many profound and thought-provoking ideas in this inspiring, wellresearched book. From a sociological perspective, it offers a fascinating take on the artist's role in a newly global community.” ~ Beth Yazhari, textile artist
"...an exquisite collection of ideas and inspiration."
"This is the perfect reference for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between art, the artist and the Divine, and anyone looking to reflect more profoundly on the spiritual nature of art. It would be a really inspiring and informative book for anyone searching for self development through creativity, or looking to penetrate the powerful and mystical role an artist can
have in the spiritual life of humanity." ~ Sarah Perceval, writer, story-teller
"…We must congratulate you for your brilliant exposition of Baha’i perspective about art. Yours is a pioneering work and we have no doubt, it will be gratefully welcomed by all lovers of art both within the Baha’i community and the world at large.” ~ R. N. Shah, Secretary, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India
"…a timely, audacious and challenging work… Artists working in all disciplines and thoughtful people in general will applaud this seminal contribution... I cannot praise it highly enough.” ~ Roger White, poet, author of Witness of Pebbles and A Sudden Music
"…deftly produced,” "an excellent, thought-provoking piece of writing.” ~ Constance M. Chen, in a book review for Bahá’í Studies, Vol. 7
"Mr Tuman knows his subject very well indeed and one is enlightened by his analyses…”
"Mirror of the Divine is relevant to the future progress of all artistic expression.” ~ Bahá’í Reviewing Panel for the United Kingdom
"Mirror of the Divine explores many passages from the Bahá’í Writings, showing how they combine to form a new and uplifting vision of art. But it goes far beyond art theory and is also highly practical, drawing on the Writings to find solutions to many of the challenges artists face in the daily practice of their vocation.” ~ Dr. Leslie Asplund, musical theatre producer
336 pages, 100 illustrations
23.4 x 15.6 cm (9.25 x 6.25 in)
George Ronald, Oxford