The Chapel of a Godless Society

Open Access
Author:
Swope, Chandra Danielle
Area of Honors:
Architecture
Degree:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christine Lee Gorby, Thesis Supervisor
  • Scott W Wing, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • religion
  • architecture
  • spiritual
  • ritual
  • anxiety
  • existence
Abstract:
In society the church played two roles: architecturally and spiritually. Architecturally the church was a symbolic landmark that reflected community values. They were often located at urban centers and they celebrated the unique identity and history of a place. Spiritually their form inspired an appreciation and reflection on human existence while their function served to quell people’s existential anxieties on death, meaninglessness, and condemnation through ritual and moral acts. Due to a growing increase in religious unaffiliation, churches across the country have been forced to close their doors. The removal of the church from society has created an architectural and spiritual void. The solution is not to reinsert the rejected church back into its former role but to find a replacement that will empower citizens to define for themselves a common ethos that engages with the significance of the city and human life as a whole.