The Ecology of Images

Seeing and the Study of Religion

in Religion and Society
Author: David Morgan1
View More View Less
  • 1 Duke University
Restricted access

Opening with a review of leading accounts of the image as an object with agency, this article proposes to study religious images within the webs or networks that endow them with agency. The example of a well-known medieval reliquary serves to show how what I refer to as 'focal objects' participate in the creation of assemblages that engage human and non-human actors in the social construction of the sacred. Focal objects are nodal points that act as interfaces with the network, particularly with invisible agents within it. As participants in a network, images are like masks, offering access to what looks through the mask at viewers engaged in a complex of relations that constructs a visual field or the ecology of an image.

Religion and Society

Advances in Research


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 208 101 9
Full Text Views 32 13 0
PDF Downloads 59 24 0