FIF 214 - Churches and Cathedrals: Decoding Sacred Symbolism
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.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Explore the rich artistic and historical heritage of the Christian world through architecture
- Become familiar with major churches and cathedrals in France, England and the rest of Medieval Europe
- Critically analyze architectural elements and sculpture: explain the art in terms of its historical, religious, and iconographic context
- Build a vocabulary with which one can explore architectural features and styles