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1. Geometry in Religion Just about every temple, church, place of worship and most religious art in general is symmetrical. Some art is composed of geometric designs. Why the geometry and symmetry in religious art?
2.Graven Images As stated in the text, many religions do not have images of God or any holy person. Instead, in religions such as Islam and in Protestant Christianity, places of worship are adorned with decorative, abstract patterns. Does the lack of religious icons take away from the spiritual experience? Why do you think some religions would steer away from this?
3.Temple Design Mark Rothko designed a chapel in Houston, Texas that incorporated his color field paintings. This chapel was non-denominational, meant for any one to be able to worship in their own way. Notre Dame du Haut is located near Ronchamp, France sitting on a hill that has been a site for pilgrims wanting to see miracles since the thirteenth century. In WWII, the original structure was destroyed. Le Corbusier began this project in 1950. The site continues to draw pilgrims on important feast days, such as Feast of the Assumption of Mary on August 15 and the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feast Day on September 8. Le Corbusier’s church does not have the typical basilica look of a Catholic church. How are these modern (abstract) sites effective for contemporary audiences? The physical experience of both sites is radically diferent from traditional space. Are they interesting because tehy are anomolies, or is there something inherent in their design that is appealing? Do you think they predict futre sites of worship? have they affected contemporary worship design?
4.Pilgrims Progress In most religions, believers travel to holy spots as destination points. For example, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a collection of pilgrimage tales, namely to visit Canterbury Cathedral to visit the relics of Saint Thomas Becket. A pilgrimage destination for Muslims is to Mecca. For Jews and Christians, a destination is Jerusalem. In today’s pop culture, Americans and other fans make pilgrimages to places like Graceland to honor Elvis. Have you ever taken a pilgrimage to journey somewhere special or holy? If not, where would you like to go if you could? How would this be related to art as studied in this class? What are the aesthetic experiences?
5.Place of Worship Evaluate your place of worship or select a new place of worship to visit. Evaluate on the following criteria as listed in the Chapter. Does it shelter a congregation? Does it house sacred objects? Does it incorporate elements of nature? Does it provide sites for repeated religious celebrations? Does it incorporate symbolic geometry in the design or location? Does it incorporate the concept of journey? Or does it provide a destination for pilgrims? Expand on each of these points.
6.Places of Worship Compare the designs for temple complexes and large scale, sacred architecture. Compare and contrast two or more of thefollwoing: the Egyptian Horus Temple, the Greek Acropolis, the Gothic Chartres Cathedral, the pre-Aztec Pyramid of the Sun, the Buddhist Altar of Heavan, The Hindu Kandary Mahadeva Temple, and the Islamic Masjid-I-Shah mosque. Points for comparison include the design, the size, the visual aesthetic, the design, symbols that may be used, the purpose of each, and the location alignment