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Religion and Spatial Arrangement Space is the final frontier.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion and Spatial Arrangement Space is the final frontier."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion and Spatial Arrangement Space is the final frontier

2 The basic premise here is that religion helps create the cultural landscape. First, the world can be mapped according to religion and we can see inter- and intrafaith boundaries. Second, religion alters the landscape through a variety of methods, creating its own cultural (built) landscape that overlays the physical landscape. This built landscape happens through a number of methods: Places of worship Sacred places Burial Practices Organization of time Administration of Space Wayside Shrines Other Effects STARTERS

3 Places of Worship All religions have structures. The function of a structure influences the arrangement of the building in space and across the landscape. Some structures may house shrines and others may serve as gathering places for worship. The distribution of religious structures in the landscape reflects the importance of religion in a culture’s value system. Religious Structures are often the largest or most prominent feature of the landscape.

4 Christian Churches The Christian landscape is dominated by a high density of churches. Churches are significant in Christianity both because they serve as gathering places but also because their physical structure is designed to reflect religious principles. Churches are often the largest or at least the central feature of Christian settlements. Given Christianity’s large variety of denominations, no single style dominates. Churches often reflect the architectural heritage of the local culture and are often constructed of local materials.


6 Muslim Masjids (Mosques) Muslims also gather to worship at their structures (mosques or masjids), but the masjid itself is not considered hallowed ground. Although any structure can serve as a masjid, classic masjids include domes and towers (minarets). Masjids are organized around a central courtyard. Surrounding the courtyard are rooms for education and other community functions. The pulpit is at the end of the courtyard that faces Mecca. Muslims will pray five times each day, whether in a masjid or not, facing Mecca. Muslims may also ritualize space by using a prayer rug.

7 Hindu Temples Sacred structures are relatively unimportant in Asian religions, whether ethnic or universalizing. Most important religious rituals and functions are likely to take place in the home. Many homes will have their own small shrines for these functions. However, Larger temples are sometimes built to house shrines. A temple may serve as a ritual home for one or more manifestations of Brahman (God). Temples usually has an internal space where a relic or image of God resides.

8 Buddhist Stupa Pagodas are also not often used as houses of worship so much as they are shrines devoted to the Buddha or to other Buddhist deities. Worship takes place in a near temple, monastery, or home They also often host individual prayer or meditation practice. Many contain relics of the Buddha himself. Pilgrimages carried relics to other countries and built pagodas for them They are often many-sided with elaborate towers, tiers, terraces, balconies and slanted roofs.

9 Shinto Pagodas Shinto pagodas are also devoted more to shrines housing certain kami (spirits) and also offer space for ritual dance or personal meditation and prayer. May pagodas are places in which adherents come to offer gifts to the kami and to ask favor in the area of the kami’s power. Shinto pagodas are known for their many tiered roofs and their tori gates.

10 Baha’i Houses of Worship Since its founding, Baha’I has built a number of Houses of Worship all over the world (Russia, the US, Australia, Uganda, Germany, Panama, Samoa, and India. The location of the Houses does not reflect meaningful places or large concentrations of adherents for the Baha’i, but instead is meant to illustrate Baha’i as an established universalizing religion.

11 Sacred Space Religion demonstrates its impact in the way it arranges human activity on the landscape. A religion’s beliefs determine the way it distributes its elements on the land. Burial Practices Religious Settlements Know about: Cemetaries (Christian, Muslim, Jewish) Cremation (Hindus, Chinese, Sky Burial (Parsis, Tibetan Buddhists) Sea Burial (Micronesia) Know about: Utopian Settlements Bethlehem, PA (Moravians) Salt Lake City (Mormons) Puritan Settlement planning in New England

12 Sacred Space Religious Toponyms Holy Sites Toponyms serve as a way for a culture/religion to mark an area as their own through religiously-themed place names Mark the location of an life event, miracle, etc. They mark the place as sacred and are often the objectives of pilgrimages.

13 Administration of Space Universalizing Religions Ethnic Religions In order to maintain communication and consistency across the globe, universalizing religions tend to arrange space in an administrative hierarchy. Ethnic religions tend not to have organized, central authority systems.

14 Administration of Space Hierarchical Religions Locally Autonomous Religions Hierarchical Religions have a well-defined geographic structure and organize territory into local administrative units. Know about: Mormons (wards and stakes) Catholics (Provinces, Diocese and Parishes) Episcopals, Lutherans and Methodists Locally Autonomous Religions are self-sufficient and interaction among communities is confined to loose cooperation and shared ideas. Know about: Islam (unity through adherence to the Qur’an) Baptists, Church of Christ, Presbyterians Judaism (minyan) and Hinduism (individual)

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