The SaWa project

The SaWa project

Transformations of Sacredness: Religious Architecture in Urban Space in 21st Century Germany (SaWa) is a research Project created at Center of Religious Studies (CERES) research institute at the University of Bochum in Germany. The project began in November 2018, with two researchers working on it, one of them working full-time and the other one part-time.

The project documents, analyses, and interprets the transformations of architectural design and position in urban space of contemporary religious architecture in Germany since 1990. It is an interdisciplinary project, connecting the study of religions and the history and theory of architecture. Its overarching goal is to understand how, given the increase of religious and cultural diversity, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic architecture (churches, mosques and synagogues) is situated in urban space, how its form conveys meaning, and how these aspects influence social interaction.

In a cooperation of the study of religions and the history of architecture, they seek to study the transformations of both material and symbolic design of contemporary sacred architecture in Germany in a comparative manner. They will survey Christian, Islamic, and Jewish sacred buildings, i.e. new constructions, re-used and demolished buildings since 1990 in Germany. Selected buildings will be studied in detail regarding their meaning and position in urban space.

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