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Extraordinary Architectural Experience and Spirituality - Essay Example

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From the paper "Extraordinary Architectural Experience and Spirituality" it is clear that Prof. Bermudez wishes to advance Aesthetics into a higher level, more specifically up the realm of spirituality.  Concurrent with course, he has also embarked on a research project he calls “Architecture Live”…
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Extraordinary Architectural Experience and Spirituality
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Julio Bermudez has opened new ground in architectural studies. He has introduced a university course which “examines metacognitive, affective, representational methods enabling the phenomenological realization of architecture, self, and beyond” (Bermudez 4). Understanding this new field of study is not that easy since it is new and unique. New because while it is really a course in Aesthetics, its aim goes beyond simply appreciating Architecture as art. It is also unique because there are no precedents to this field of study.
What contribution does Prof. Bermudez wish to achieve? His project itself has an empirical character since it generated data on respondents’ profile such as age, gender, education and field of interest or profession. Categorizing descriptive responses on experiences felt by respondents on ten famous sacred buildings (Haga Sophia, Notre Dame Cathedral, among others), there resulted expressions by survey respondents of profound experiences beyond ordinary sense of the beautiful, along dimensions of awareness of inner peace, illumination, sense of the ultimate, ecstasy, joy, etc.
To assess the Bermudez contribution, the concepts introduced by the professor rightly serves to enrich the study of Aesthetics by way of empirical subjective data on the appreciation of sacred architectural buildings. There is a question, however, on conclusions that EAEs “fundamentally alter one’s state of being” and that these comprise a “higher level of awareness beyond the normal” ( 1). Through human history, ancient civilizations (Assyrian, Grecian, Hindu, etc.) have set up sacred temples and monuments with an architectural design aimed precisely to evoke religious sentiments. Religious or spiritual awareness is not at all beyond normal awareness of humans. Also, the qualitative data on sublime perceptions of beauty from Architecture Live project need not be confined to architecture, as other religious art forms—such as church music, religious paintings, sculptures of saints—even photography on the sacred (Crosbie 1) and poetry-song (Kirwin 1) bear similar power to stir spiritual feelings and intuition. Read More
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