The Role of Religion and Ritual in South Asian Visual Culture

40th Association of Art Historians Annual Conference & Bookfair, Royal College of Art, London

Session: ‘Divine Intervention: The Role of Religion and Ritual in South Asian Visual Culture’

The multifarious nature of South Asia, particularly with its vast amount of religions –Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – has not only facilitated tremendous diversity in the art of the Indian sub-continent, but also has created distinct visual dialogues and idioms that are associated with them. This panel will address, over a vast chronological spectrum, the interactions between religion, ritual, and art, through a selection of eight to sixteen presented papers. The aim of this session is to provide, and promote, an interdisciplinary forum for scholars investigating issues that may include, but are not limited to:

– the relationship between art and religion/ritual as expressed in various media: architecture, painting, sculpture, film, print media, manuscripts, photography, and fashion
– the role of the image in the invention and appropriation of religious tradition
– iconic vs. aniconic religious and ritual practices
– visual methods employed for religious and ritual practice
– the role of art in tribal traditions, as well as lesser known religious sects
– art and architecture in the role of religious pilgrimage
– art and architecture in the promotion of religion in both mainstream and unconventional societal practices

India offers a distinct platform for many of the world’s religions; thus this panel will offer a new approach to understanding how these denominations and their rituals are visually manifested, interpreted, and promoted within the sub-continent. Although each religion is different in its character and dogma, we hope to highlight the collective importance of the image through new demonstrations and insights.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words and a CV of 1-2 pages should be sent to:

Deadline for submission is the 11th of November 2013.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Rachel Parikh, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge,
Imma Ramos, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge,

Cite this blog post
Bertrand Lefebvre (2013, October 18). The Role of Religion and Ritual in South Asian Visual Culture. AJEI - Association Jeunes Études Indiennes. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from