A Comparative Study of Religious Architecture in Christianity and Islam A Criticism of Titus Burckhardt’s Theory (Case study: Isfahan)




Today, the plurality of different ways through which ideas in divine religions are expressed highlights an urgent need for a common language using the approach of ethnic unity. The analysis of these commonalities would be effective in coming to the point at which the spiritual-ethnic aspects of these religions converge. In so doing, art can serve as a common language. As the physical structure of religious buildings is mainly influenced by the type of ritual ceremonies in which they are held, it is more likely that the diversity of religions results in the diversity of the architecture of the holy buildings. However, the similar elements in the architecture of various religions can create a common and single language in the sacred arts to avoid the variety of ideas.
This paper is an attempt to explore the common architectural features of religious buildings in Christianity (Armenians) and Islam during the Safavid era. Darwing upon Titus Burkharts’ theory, we attempt to explain how the structures of Armenian churches and Muslim mosques in the Safavid are different or similar?  we scrutinize some samples of worship buildings. An extensive review of literature shows that essential differences in the mentioned religions have resulted in worship places with different interior designs. However, despite such differences, the building structures have been flexible  architecture of these religions in shared geographic and historical domain influence each other. Similarly, apart from the influences, Armenians’ architecture in Isfahan is undeniably affected by the architecture of Safavid period and its subsequent periods. That might explain why churches with Iranian-Islamic structure reflect Christians-Armenians’ Architecture. The methods of data collection for this research are documentary and field-based. Data are analyzed in descriptively.


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