Title

Categorization of Symbolism in Religious Architecture; A Case Study of the Coptic Orthodox Church Architecture

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2020

Abstract

In the discipline of architectural history and theory, it is of crucial importance to analyze buildings and building styles that came from the past, thus attempting to interpret the meanings projected by the architecture of these heritage buildings. Doing so enables one to stand on solid grounds of understanding the cultural identity of a nation. Only by then, future architects would be able to create new architecture, yet still an offspring of their heritage, thus emphasizing the identity of the realm. Religion forms an integral part of one's cultural identity. Throughout history, religious architecture has always been rich in its symbolic aspects. This paper attempts to revisit symbolism in Coptic Orthodox Architectural design, and categorizes it in accordance to the nature of the different symbols, thus enhancing the understanding of this heritage to prepare researchers and practitioners for analysis of symbols in ancient church buildings. It is worth mentioning that this categorization can be adapted to be utilized in the analysis of symbols in religious worship houses from other denominations and other architectural buildings of different functions as well.

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