From Chartres cathedral to Angkor Wat, religion has been the inspiration for many of the greatest buildings of the world. Indeed, for much of human history, the story of architecture and the story of faith were synonymous.
This lecture explains the architecture of each of the major faith traditions, revealing how it is shaped by their rituals and beliefs. It briefly covers the sacred architecture of such early societies as Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Americas before focusing on the living faiths: the great continuities embodied in the sacred architecture of Buddhism and Hinduism, and the revolutionary changes brought about in monotheistic Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It thus brings fresh insights into some of the most remarkable buildings on the planet.
The aim is to leave the audience understanding why and how (for example) a mosque is different from a synagogue or a church (and how they interrelate), as well as having a ‘big picture’ overview of what is happening where and when in the sacred buildings of planet earth.
These videos are all available from public websites, mostly YouTube or Vimeo. When you view these videos you are streaming them from one of these websites. The exception to this are TateShots which are provided by the Tate and are stored on our website server.
The length of each video is shown in brackets as minutes:seconds. Note that some of the videos last for less than a minute, but others last for tens of minutes.
Some of the videos were originally broadcast by the BBC. Before being uploaded to YouTube, many of these programmes have been divided into smaller sections, often around 15 minutes in length.
Choose an art-related video from the lists below; click to play it.