Encompassing Spirituality : An Exercise In Formal Gathering
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This thesis project is an exploration of the built environment and how it is affected by the way people of different religions gather together. Bound by a familiar belief in a higher power based in the certainty of a beginning, the present, and an inherent end to a given period of time, the places in which believers gather are related to one another. An architecture that recognizes and is sensitive to these ties is essential to providing harmony to its gatherers. Day in and day out people are surrounded by the gathering and practices of different religions. Bahai, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Judaism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam and countless other sects have worked their way into our societal fabric. Each presents its own way of worship, and at first may appear different; the traditions, language, and names used by their followers seem strange and foreign to those with a different set of beliefs. However, if the ideas are pulled out of this narrow perspective and examined in a broader scope there are striking similarities among the sets of beliefs and ways in which these groups gather together. Groups have begun to form that have established the possibility of uniting the world’s religions. Headed by the Parliament of the World’s Religions and the United Religions Initiative, the interfaith movement encourages harmonious interaction and dialogue between different religions. Through the study of divine proportion, it can be found that the spaces in which different religions gather are similar. Each pays respect to the spirituality of site, light, and proportion in regards to a time continuum upon which a community of believers exists.