Posted by Robert Habiger on December 29, 2003 at 08:49:47:
In Reply to: Inter-Faith centre ideas and program? posted by Manish Desai on December 29, 2003 at 07:32:26:
Dear Manish Desai,
Your project is intriging to me. Such a hope of maintaining peace and harmony between all religions historically has not occurred. We can find coexistance at many levels, European cities come to mind. We can find religious freedom, USA comes to mind. However, finding true peace and harmony has yet to be accommplished, especially around the world.
I have devoted last 10 years to designing places of worship for christian communities. These have only been in the United States. So, I am not versed or an expert in what you want to achieve in terms of a design that will embrace all religions. I can though pose some questions and then offer my insights, which you can use or not as you wich. There is an organization that I belong called Interfaith forum on Religious Art and Architecture. It is part of the American Institute of Architects. They have a publication called Faith & Form. There web address is www.faithform.com, which you may already know about.
I think a first question includes can religions who believe in one God be combined with religions who believe in multiple Gods? This question probably has been at the root of several conflicts in your country, India. To include all religions, means you cannot focus a design with the intent of claiming there is just one God. Of course, doing that will mean that the monothesis religions will take offense. It seems then that the inter-faith center will need to have some sub-division in terms of spatial arrangements to acknowledge these differences.
Amother question can or is there a common symbol that can embrace all religions? One might be a dove. But I don't know if a dove has a bad connotation in a religion outside of Christianity. For Christians it not only represents the Holy Spirit, but also peace.
These are but a couple of ideas. I wish you well and peace in developing your design. When finished i would live to see the results.
You can see some samples of my work at www.liturgydesign.com
Robert D. Habiger
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