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Transformations of ‘Sacredness in Stone’: Religious Architecture in Urban Space in 21st Century Germany—New Perspectives in the Study of Religious Architecture

1
Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr University Bochum, 44789 Bochum, Germany
2
History and Theory of Architecture, TU Dortmund, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(11), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110602
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 16 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Space as Cultural Heritage)
Religious transformations in modern societies are not merely a discursive or demographic phenomenon, they also relate to religious architecture in urban space and affect the built environment at its core. Many churches, for instance, are in the process of reuse, closure, or even demolition. At the same time, there has been an increase in the construction of new mosques and a reorientation in synagogue architecture in Germany for the last twenty-five years. The three religious traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—undergo remarkable transformations with regard to the design and style of their places of worship. Often, however, these new designs are not easily ‘readable’ to visitors and believers alike. In addition, the role of contemporary religious architecture in its relation to urban space is changing. Which meanings do religious buildings convey, how are they positioned, and how do they structure urban space? In collaboration of the study of religions and architectural history, we approach these questions by means of studying the transformations of contemporary religious architecture in Germany in a comparative manner. We survey Jewish, Christian, and Muslim places of worship, that is, new constructions, reused, and demolished buildings in Germany since 1990. The selected buildings are studied in detail regarding their meaning and positioning in urban space. This article presents findings from an ongoing research project and opens new perspectives in the study of urban religion. View Full-Text
Keywords: comparative religion; architectural history; religious architecture; architectural semiotics; urban research; urban planning; sacred space; religious buildings comparative religion; architectural history; religious architecture; architectural semiotics; urban research; urban planning; sacred space; religious buildings
MDPI and ACS Style

de Wildt, K.; Radermacher, M.; Krech, V.; Löffler, B.; Sonne, W. Transformations of ‘Sacredness in Stone’: Religious Architecture in Urban Space in 21st Century Germany—New Perspectives in the Study of Religious Architecture. Religions 2019, 10, 602.

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