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Final arch history - Essay Example

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25 November 2012 Architectural Hierarchy in Religious Structures It has oftentimes been expressed that architecture is the heavenly construal of humankind in characterizing and symbolizing celestial themes in physical form…
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Download file to see previous pages Some religions reflect on their attributed traditions in designing religious structures like those in the Middle Eastern countries, wherein less hierarchy is instituted in the overall architectural plan of the worship place; and this is particularly conceptualized owing to the notions of simplicity, unity and togetherness in worship. Architectural hierarchy, while sometimes disregarded in some religions, is highly represented in Roman Catholicism, and most commonly, in Chinese religious structures like pagodas, temples, and stupas. For example, in Chinese culture, traditional Buddhist architecture varies structure’s height, colour, roof, and shape depending on rank; “The greater the height and slope, the higher the rank”; moreover, courtyard plans and the symmetrical arrangement of religious structures, including statuaries, indicate status and hierarchical order (Nan Tien Temple, “Buddhism and Architecture”). Likewise, in the earliest times, hierarchy in the [Student’s Last Name] 2 Roman Catholic churches was employed in order to distinguish it from other large structures: “The church buildings must be distinct from parish hall, offices, or school” (Alderman, “Heaven Made Manifest”). Historical accounts will show how religious structures in Roman Catholicism and Chinese religions employ a sense of hierarchy in their architecture. One of the most interesting parts in the architectural design of Roman Catholic churches is the manner in which each partition of the church building is ordered according to its purpose and sacredness. Prior to entering the main interior of the church, one undergoes a juncture or a minute of preparation for the transition from the tedious and disturbing activities of the world to the domain of the holy liturgy (Schloeder 138); "This may take the form of a cloistered atrium or perhaps a parish plaza; in most cases, a simple narthex or a vestibule will do” (138). The significance and relationship among the altar, the priest and the congregation are clearly manifested in the way church partitions are being ordered. The General Instruction of the New Roman Missal (GIRM 217) asserts that the altar should be placed the highest among everything that is on the pulpit, higher than that of the celebrant’s chair. This is being so in that the altar symbolizes not merely as a place of Sacrifice but it is a symbol of Jesus Christ (Sacred Congregation of Rites, “Eucharisticum Mysterium”). Moreover, while this arrangement is common in the Catholic Church, it was only ascribed from the early Jewish civilizations. Nevertheless, the practice is still carried on until the present time (Ratzinger 70-71). Going eastward, just like Roman Catholicism, Chinese temples are also influenced by some traditional and religious beliefs. The prevalent practice of Confucianism in China impacted the way religious structures are being designed. In Confucian philosophy, every person must display [Student’s Last Name] 3 genuineness and conform to a demanded hierarchy. Furthermore, it stressed on the distinction between the influential and the ordinary, the high ranking and the minor, by the use of manifold aspects that include size, shape, color, and height. Traditional Chinese religious structures are characterized by magnificence in roofs manifested through its height, slope, shape, and color (Nan Tien Temple, “Buddhism and Architecture”). Since Chinese temples, pagodas, and stufas are used to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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