Transcending the Complexities of Truth and Beauty

On Thursday night, September 6, 2012, the museum s auditorium and overflow seating were filled to capacity with eager students, faculty, and community members who gathered to hear from the renowned Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. His presentation, Islam: Truth and Beauty, was given in connection to the museum s exhibition Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture to help audience members better understand how the “truth of anything—is always related to beauty.”  This significant lecture was co-sponsored by BYU s Wheatley Institution as part of its Distinguished Lecture in International Affairs series.

Ann Lambson, head educator at the MOA, explained the significance of his visit. “The lecture by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr was a rare opportunity for our students and community to hear from one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious, and Comparative Studies in the world today.”

Lynda Palma, museum educator, said, “because of Dr. Nasr s scholarship in comparative religion, he viewed Islam in its global context—not only the major tenets of the religion itself, but its place on the world stage and in relation to other world religions.”

Palma related that Dr. Nasr s scholarship helped students and faculty members understand the complexities of truth and beauty. Although philosophical minds have wrestled with this issue through the ages, Nasr s broad understanding of global religion helped give audience members a new perspective.

She said, “Dr. Nasr addressed these themes with great insight and clarity that transcended Islamic doctrine and seemed to have universal application.  Consequently, his message, although heady, was at the same time accessible and relevant and greatly enriched the visitor s understanding of the works in Beauty and Belief.”

The lecture helped visitors understand the complexities of truth and beauty from a global perspective. If you missed the lecture and still would like to listen to the podcast, click here. The video podcast will be up shortly. Dr. Nasr s explanation of truth and beauty will greatly enrich your museum experience. The exhibition closes soon on September 29, 2012.