This course explores important spiritual sites from around the world, focusing on sacred places in and artistic creations from countries visited on the voyage. We will examine the formal, spatial, structural, aesthetic and symbolic aspects of sacred sites and objects, and consider how they reflect both universal characteristics and the specific conditions and beliefs of the cultures in which they were created. The course’s global perspective allows for comparisons between examples of religious buildings from traditional Western and Non-Western civilizations, including Buddhist stupas, Jewish synagogues, Islamic mosques, Shinto shrines, Neoclassical and Gothic churches, and Hindu temples. We will also explore sacred sites not directly tied to a major organized religion to better understand what makes a place spiritual and how art and architecture can be used to accentuate the transcendental nature of a site. As part of the course students will analyze the architectural compositions and characteristics of sacred sites visited while in port.
Field WorkCountry: Vietnam
Date: November 14, 2018
Our exploration and documentation of sacred sites in Saigon will include visits to a mosque, a cathedral, and a number of different temples, including Buddhist, Tao, and Hindu. By visiting these places, we will be able to experience them using a variety of our senses beyond sight, including sound, smell, touch, and even possibly taste, to achieve a richer and deeper understanding of the individual environments and the tenets that define the beliefs of those who built and use the sites. After we have completed our visits we will have dinner as a group in central Saigon to relax and discuss our experiences as we enjoy some wonderful Vietnamese cuisine.
- To experience different forms of sacred spaces in person (thereby allowing the use of other sense beyond sight to analyze the spaces).
- To be able to more fully understand how the design of sacred architecture is used to heighten spiritual experiences.
- To develop skills used in understanding, interpreting, and discussing different forms of sacred spaces.