Water and Sacred Architecture  book cover
1st Edition

Water and Sacred Architecture

Edited By

Anat Geva

  • Available for pre-order on March 17, 2023. Item will ship after April 7, 2023
ISBN 9781032415895
April 7, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages 173 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This edited book examines architectural representations that tie water, as a physical and symbolic property, with the sacred. The discussion centres on two levels of this relationship: firstly, how water influenced the sacredness of buildings across history and different religions; and secondly, how sacred architecture expressed the spiritual meaning of water.

The volume deliberately offers original material on various unique contextual and design aspects of water and sacred architecture, rather than an attempt to produce a historic chronological analysis on the topic, or focusing on a specific geographical region. As such, this unique volume adds a new dimension to the study of sacred architecture. The book’s chapters are compiled by a stellar group of scholars and practitioners from the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It addresses major aspects of water in religious buildings, such as, rituals, pilgrimage, water as a cultural material and place making, hydro systems, modern practices, environmental considerations, the contribution of water to transforming secular into sacred, and future digital/cyber context of water and sacredness. All chapters are based on original archival studies, historical documents, and field visits to the sites and buildings. These examinations show water as an expression of architectural design, its materiality, and its spiritual values. The book will be of intense interest to architects, historians, environmentalists, archaeologists, religious scholars and preservationists.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Water and Sacred Architecture  Part 1: Rituals  1. Beyond Baptism: Incorporating Water as a Primary Symbol in Contemporary Roman Catholic Church Architecture  2. Water and Ritual Wudu (Ablutions) in Canadian Mosques  3. Chattri and Kund: The Architecture of Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan, India  4. Sacred Water Architecture for Every Jew: Rabbi David Miller and DIY Mikvah in Charleston, South Carolina  Part 2: Water as Material Culture and Place Making  5. Architecture, Water, and the Sacred in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, Greece  6. Roman Waterscapes, Architecture, and Religion: Notions of Sacrality and Sensory Experience  7. Purifying the Stupa: Symbolism of the Lotus Flower in Buddhist Architecture  8. The Sacredness of Water and Place: African and Diasporic Religious Cultural Encounters  Part 3: Environmental Impact  9. The ‘Sacred’ Architecture of Anupam Mishra's Water-Culture  10. Sacredness in The Presence and Absence of Water: The Case of Stepwells in Ahmedabad, India  11. Tethering Buddhism to Climate Change: Lessons from the Ladakhi Ice Stupa  Part 4: Water Systems  12. Hymn to the Waters: Anāhitā in Ancient Persian Architecture  13. Tower and Temple: Re-sacralizing Water Infrastructure at Balkrishna Doshi’s GSFC Township  14. Geothermal Systems and Religious Ethics: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, and First Unitarian Society of Madison  Part 5: Modern Practice  15. Sacredness and Water in Contemporary Japanese Architecture: A reinterpretation of Ancient Traditions  16. Baptistries in Marcel Breuer and Associates’ American Catholic Sacred Spaces  17. Strength in Weakness – Daoist Waters and the Architecture of the Xinjin Zhi Museum  Epilogue: The Expression of Water in Virtual Sacred Architecture: The Case of a Virtual Baptism 

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Anat Geva, PhD, registered architect in Israel and Associate Member of the AIA, is Professor Emeritus of Architecture in Texas A&M University and the College of Architecture Outstanding Alumni. She taught design; history/design of sacred architecture; history of building technology; and historic preservation. She has published many articles and three books: Frank Lloyd Wright Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form, and Building Technology (Routledge, 2012); Modernism and American Mid-20th Century Sacred Architecture (Routledge, 2019); and Israel Architecture as an Experimental Lab for Modern Architecture: 1948-1978 (Intellect Books, 2020). Her forthcoming book The Architecture of Modern American Synagogues (1950s-1960s) is currently in press (Texas A&M University Press). She also has an extensive record of editorial work: being a co-editor of Arris, and founder and co-editor of Preservation Education & Research. She is a recipient of several awards and research grants including the prestigious James Marston Fitch National Award for innovative research in historic preservation.