Based around an interview with Tadao Ando, this book explores the influence of the Buddhist concept of nothingness on Ando’s Christian architecture, and sheds new light on the cultural significance of the buildings of one of the world’s leading contemporary architects.
Specifically, this book situates Ando’s churches, particularly his world-renowned Church of the Light (1989), within the legacy of nothingness expounded by Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945), the father of the Kyoto Philosophical School.
Linking Ando’s Christian architecture with a philosophy originating in Mahayana Buddhism illuminates the relationship between the two religious systems, as well as tying Ando’s architecture to the influence of Nishida on post-war Japanese art and culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: Emptiness and Christianity 1. Emptiness within Christianity 2. Return to Emptiness Part 2: The School of Things (Mono-ha) and its Criticism of Modernity 3. The Emergence of the School of Things and Space Design 4. The School of Things and Anti-Semiotics 5. The School of Things and Nothingness Part 3: Nothingness, Shintai and Christian Theology 6. Kitaro Nishida's Philosophy of Nothingness 7. Nothingness and Shintai 8. Nothingness and Christian Theology Part 4: Emptiness and the Cross 8. Emptiness and the Demise of Symbols 9. The Cross between Romanticism and Barbarism 10. Emptiness Filled with Situational Appearance 11. Metaphysical Light and Phenomenological Light 12. Dark, Light and Gold Part 5: Emptiness, the Cross and Shintai 13. Shintai and Corporeality of Architectural Elements 14. Body Attuned 15. The Penetrating Light and the Cross in Efficacy 16. Seeing in Emptiness 17. Beyond Solitude 18. The Sublime Conclusion Part 6: Interview with Tadao Ando
Jin Baek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include the cross-cultural issues between East Asia and the West in architecture and urbanism.