CENTER 15: Divinity, Creativity, Complexity

APRIL 2010

Architects are rarely invited into the theological debate the way scientists often and artists sometimes are, this despite the obvious analogies between design and Design. Even when they are designing places of worship, the shape of their own faith is given no special place, nor the theological implications of what they are doing regardless of faith. (Indeed, mention "architecture" and "religion" or "God" in the same sentence, and the mind automatically flips to churches and synagogues, and then to fifty cliche forms.)

The idea behind this volume was to blaze a new trail in thinking rationally about religion, theology, and everyday life. It opens new avenues of debate and discussion about the meaning of religious faith in the 21st century. For not only architects, of course, but also film-makers, writers, composers, painters, scientists, institution-builders, and inventors create design with similar if not the same ethical constraints and incentives. The desire of every man to be creatively involved in life is, we submit, an essentially religious desire. Understanding why and how this is so through architecture might make this clearer to all, and more realizable.

ISBN:  978-0-934951-11-1


Introduction, by Michael Benedikt
In the Beginning...Creativity, by Gordon Kaufman
Strange, Hidden, Holy: Religious Experience in Recent Secular Architecture, by William S. Saunders
Science and the Quest for Cosmic Purpose, by John F. Haught
God, the Architect of the Universe - Universe, the Architect of God, by Charles Jencks
The Argument from Design(ers), by Michael Benedikt
Form and Function: On Biology and Buildings, by Michael Ruse
Sioux City Ghosts, by Richard Becherer
The Perennial Way of Design, by Thomas Fisher
Feminist Architecture, Meet Feminist Ethics, by Tom Spector
Modern to modern: Kahn and Community, by William C. Richards
Light is Like Water: Luis Barragan and the Question of Magic, by Sheryl Tucker de Vasquez
Emptiness and Empty Cross: Tadao Ando's Church of Light, by Jin Baek
A Desert Land Ethic: Aesthetic Research, by Alvaro Malo
Creativity, Melancholy, and the Divine: An Architectural Anomaly, by Stanley Tigerman


Michael Benedikt
William Saunders


Kevin Alter
Michael Benedikt