Religion's Reflection in Architecture

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How have architectural styles reflected the philosophies, religions, and politics of various cultures throughout history?

I would like to focus my discussion on religion's reflection in architecture and hope it will not be too lengthy.

Religion forms the foundation of cultural identity and has decisively shaped world civilizations based on differing, but not exclusive, views of ultimate value: mercy and benevolence in Buddhism, morality and ethics in Confucianism, respect in Shintoism, devotion and mystical unity of divine Self in Hinduism, obedience and perseverance in Judaism, love for the Creator and one's fellowman in Christianity, and submission to the will of Allah in Islam.

Shrine-like buildings found at Catal Huyuk in
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The product of two streams of development, one in the Mediterranean and the other in south-central Asia, Muslim architecture is fundamentally centered upon worship. At its heart is the mosque, whose characteristic domes, minarets, and stylized decorative art encouraged contemplation and prayer.

After the destruction of the Temple and dispersal of Jews from Israel in 70 C.E., Judaism focused on family ritual and synagogues that housed prayer sanctuaries which faced Jerusalem. By the fifth and sixth centuries, many Arabs respected the non-sexualized symbols of Judaism, its ascetic monotheism, and the Jewish devotion to family life and education. The Arabs called the Jews "People of the Book," and Jews and Arabs lived side by side in peace.

Resources:

Boston College
The Art of the Ancient Mediterranean
The World's First City http://www2.bc.edu/~mcdonadh/course/huyuk.html HistoryWorld
History of Buddhist and Hindu Architecture http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab96 Teaching Comparative Religion through Art and Architecture
Sacred Spaces in Shinto Jinja (Shrine) Shinto
University of California, Berkeley http://ias.berkeley.edu/orias/visuals/japan_visuals/shinto.HTM China.Org.Cn
The Temple Of Heaven http://www.china.org.cn/english/kuaixun/75120.htm Wikipedia
Early Christian Art and Architecture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christian_art Wikipedia
Islamic

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