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Sacred Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent

Religious Studies 3110 - Fall 2020

The built structure remains a principal visible record of the evolution of a civilization and its culture. Through this interdisciplinary course on culture, design, religion and society, students will be introduced to and gain a deeper insight into the rich diversity of South Asia through the study of the architecture of its significant sacred places.We will take a journey through the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Temples; the Islamic Mosque; the Sikh Gurudwara; the Zoroastrian Fire Temple; the Jewish Synagogue; and the Christian Church, tracing the evolution of these places of worship from the Indus Valley Civilization to Pre-Colonial times. Through visuals, readings, and discussions, students will learn about the different architectural styles and motifs used in sacred buildings and how they came about. We will explore the inter-relationships between the design elements through the lens of political, social, religious, regional and technological influences and understand the ways in which evolving design principles reflect these influences overtime. At the end of the semester, students will go on a field trip to experience the diverse sacred architecture in the St. Louis region. This course will be of interest to students of languages and cultures, architecture, archeology, art history, history, preservation, religion, and South Asian culture, among others. No prior knowledge of architecture or the history of this region is required.
Course Attributes: EN HBU ISAS HUMAS LCD

Section 01

Sacred Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent
INSTRUCTOR: Jain
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