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FIF 214 Churches and Cathedrals: Decoding Sacred Symbolism

Course Description

Examine hidden symbols and complex layers of meaning in the structures and details of some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. Churches and cathedrals are more than just magnificent and imposing pieces of architecture. They are extraordinary buildings that express complex ideas about human life and were designed to be ‘read’ by those who attended them. Who is the figure holding a book in the stained glass window? What do the carved figures in the portal represent? Why are there four beasts in the corners of the ceiling? Topics include: a brief history of the Medieval Period; history of church buildings; architectural elements; major cathedrals in Europe; the Bible, Jesus, Mary, saints and prophets; and, sacred geometry, colours and numbers.

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