Architecture and art have been a crucial part of the prayer and religion since the beginning of civilization. This includes religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Greece traditional religion among others. This paper will discuss the history of faith and its dependence on art and architecture. The paper will highlight objects of art and architecture depending on their aesthetic, physical and theological value. As many researchers argue that this part of religion showcases the deep discussion that may also unfold the history and other important factors regarding that religion that many might not know or even ignore.
Erzen (122) argue that one of the most important architecture in the Muslim religion is their mosques. All over the world, the mosques stand out since they are done with beautiful an elaborate decorations that bring the uniqueness in places of worship. The shapes of these mosques were adopted from the Byzantine and Persian architecture since that is where Muslims first settled (Erzen 123). The prayer hall in a mosque boasts of the minbar which is where the sermons are conducted, as well. There is also the mihrab which indicates the direction of mecca where Muslims direct their prayers (Erzen 123). Muslims also find intricate patterns in their art a very significant part of their religion. This is because Muhammad, the servant instructed them not to create lifelike creatures in their art and therefore the intricate arabesque actually has religious and prayerful background. Erzen (122) state that the Quran, which is also written in beautiful calligraphy makes art their very core of religion and prayer.
The Christians group with the most outstanding architecture is the Catholic Church. Although so much art with historical background had been destroyed in the last 500 years or so, the church has started reclaiming its artistic side (Kelly 417). Certain churches have started incorporating designs that produce heavenly inspiration in the outside and inside of the churches. Believers also pray whenever they come across relics since they believe that the saints who came across them in the past will listen to their prayers while in heaven (Kelly 425). They also have a lot of imageries in terms of painting of the disciples and saints since they believe that they too in heaven will listen to their prayers. Christians also value the old churches that were built several centuries ago. Many have been restored or even serve as museums especially in Italy and Rome. Kelly (420) argue that the significance of these churches in prayer and belief to believers is that they get the sense that many other people were at the same place and prayed to the same God. It creates a sense of reassurance and faith in the power of their religion.
Ancient Civilizations (2014) maintain that the Greeks in the past also had art and architecture which played a very huge role in their religion. They expressed their art through pottery, sculptures, and their temples. In all their art, they incorporated their symbol of excellence, the arete (Ancient Civilizations 2014). Ancient Civilizations (2014) contend that their symbols of their gods resembled humans since their culture and religion emphasized on the human achievements. Their art showed that the Greek believed in the superiority of humanity even in their prayers.
In conclusion, though many may ignore the importance of art and architecture in religion, it has a very large implication to many believers. In addition, since the architecture and art is sanctified, it fulfills the holiness which is the most important part of all religions. Albeit the spiritual significance of art and architecture, it also impresses the eye, therefore, making places of worship beautiful and therefore encouraging believers to return more often.
Kelly, Tony. "The Art and Architecture of Faith." Australasian Catholic Record 86.4 (2009): 416-425.
Erzen, Jale Nejdet. "Reading Mosques: Meaning and Architecture In Islam." Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism 69.1 (2011): 125-131.
Ancient Civilizations. Art and Architecture: Ancient Greece, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.ushistory.org/civ/5e.asp