Architectural Expression and Ways of Being Religious

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article examines the architectural traditions of the world’s religions, with particular emphasis on synagogues, churches, mosques, and Hindu and Buddhist temples. Using a comparative approach, it first describes common and distinguishing features of religious architecture. It then looks at issues and problems that tend to arise in church design, such as whether to aim for monumentality and splendor or rather for simple and modest design; what sort of symbolism to use in the design and decoration of buildings; in what ways architecture can and should be affected by currents of liturgical reform; whether to allow representational art or restrict ornament to non-representational forms; or how much emphasis to place on principles of harmony and mathematical proportion. Finally, it discusses various approaches used in studying church architecture.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts
EditorsFrank Burch Brown
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780195176674
StatePublished - 2014


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