Sacred Structures and Profanity

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Sacred Structures and Profanity

Category: Critical Thinking

Subcategory: Architecture

Level: Academic

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Sacred structures and profanity
The world we are living in today is much dynamic, with new inventions across all fields of the economy, such as technology and architecture, made daily. Architecture is a field that has grown with time. Modern architects consider postmodern buildings as related to a populist ethic. The tastes and preferences of consumers of buildings have also changed with time. Whereas modernism is based on minimizing the use of materials and absence of ornaments, postmodernism’s exhibit rejection of rules set by modernists. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) explained that all religion divides phenomenon or objects into profane or sacred. According to him, communities and individuals are united and interpreted through the celebration of religious beliefs and sacred ritual, hence enhancing the sharing of collective sentiments and solidarity in profane areas of social life.
Every aspect of life keeps on changing and this has spearheaded the rise of various extremes. Whatever was regarded right and socially acceptable transforms to be the centrally. This has contributed to the conversion of that which was sacred in the society turning out to become profane. Profane and secular aspects of life in the past have even been regarded as holy for practice. Similarly, both extremes do exist whereby architectures that are thought to be holy in one geographical location are regarded as symbolizing a highly profane practice.
It happens in geography, for instance, the Palestine wall that symbolizes the great boarder sanctity for Israeli citizens is viewed as profane from the Palestinian people. World architectures have different purposes, displaying both profane and sacred, an example being the Ancient Greek architectural design (Spawforth, 26).
The Ancient Greek Temples Architectural design
In any building, the architect is essentially the main designer. The architect normally faces a series of challenges that he has to overcome in order to be successful. He also needs to know each and every step during building; most of them are different and depend on the structure. In the long run, the architect is required to make a decision to form and the main focus of the subject or programs. I believe each and every architect usually aims at producing a structure with the unique architectural technique in the land. However, how much the new design will be improvised depends on which aspect the architect uses more.
Greece has a history of biggest and most beautiful temples, the underlying reason being the fact that Greeks culture was dominated by religion. These also had a political role since some were constructed to showcase their pride and civic power in the war against their political enemies as well as a way of thanksgiving to their patron deity of a city. They thus developed architectural systems called orders each having its distinctive proportions and detailing. The orders included Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite. An order meant a combination of style with or without a base, and these replaced the earlier use of wooden pillars with specially made stones that were much concrete hence giving improved stability of a building. This comprised of a vertical fluted column shaft. Which were much thicker at the top, but lacking a base. They had a simple capital below a square abacus (Mark, & Malam, 35). The entablature frieze was made of alternating triglyphs and metopes.
The Doric order had a plain top, and the style was much sturdy, mostly dominating mainland Greece and southern colonies in southern Italy and Sicily. The architectural design was applied during the construction of the Parthenon temple of Athena Parthenon in Athens. The architrave is mostly undecorated apart from a narrow band where pegs commonly known as guttae are attached. Despite great dilapidation in the past centuries, Parthenon temple still displays the great ability and skill of the Greek architects which still lives.
The Ionic order was used during construction of Erechtheum temple, from the middle classical period using Greek skill and architecture on Acropolis of Athens between 421 BC and 405 BC. This temple comprised of sanctuaries of Athena Polias, Poseidon, and Erechtheus. The eastern portico of the temple, hexastyle Ionic, was access to the shrine of Athena, the one separated by a partition from the western cella. The northern portico, tetrastyle Ionic, at a lower level, it stood and gave access to the western cells through a fine doorway. The southern portico, commonly known by the Greeks as the Porch of the Caryatids from the six sculptured draped female figures that firmly gave support to the entablature. This the temple’s most striking feature, forming a gallery or Tribune. a
Corinthian order; this is the most classic and latest kind of order to be used by Greek architects. It was applied in the construction of the temple of Apollo in Athens. It was also seldom used in Greek great temples, but highly evident in Roman temples. The capital is very elaborate and covered with acanthus leaves. There are several Acropolis, across the world, but the Acropolis of Greece is highly known in the world over.
The Parthenon temple was built with much preciseness in dimensions and accordance with mathematical rations and dimensions. They were made to exact dimensions on the corners to ensure much accuracy and great skill was archived. The temple was designed to be 101.34 feet wide by 228.14 feet long. It was built of brilliant white marble, enclosed by 46 great columns, roofed with tiles, and housed with an almost 40-foot tall statue of the goddess Athena. The statue, which had great symbolism was made of wood, gold and ivory and was visible seen from a distance of many miles (Malam, and Bergin, 21).
The name of the temple, Parthenon was used to mean the worship of Athena, the goddess and patroness of the famous city of Athens. She represents the highest order of spiritual and the gifts of intellect and understanding. Athena is the symbolized the sole human aspiration for wisdom for the people of Greece.
Materials used
Most early structures in Greece were made using mud, brick, and marble structures on a stone base. There were wooden columns with door openings and columns protected with planks of wood. Wooden posts were used for reinforcement purposes for the mud brick walls in a half-timbered technique. These produced a design principle that could determine Greek temple’s existence for centuries. New discoveries were made, and thus marble and limestone became the prime building materials greatly used in Greeks history. The process of quarrying and transporting the building materials involved a lot in labor with architects participating in almost all aspects of the building process. They did the stone selection, supervised the extraction process and cutting into desired shapes and pieces by craftsmen at the quarry. After the stones had been cut, other skilled laborers put them in place. There was high coordination of effort and specializations. The ornamental job was done by a highly dedicated team, which included metalworkers, sculptors, and painters. Labor costs accounted for most of the construction work. The temples were built with great esthetics and state of the art at the time; they were made such that they could be viewed from directions. They had more than one entrance, which was specially made.
The monuments of Acropolis serve as the masterpieces of Greek architecture that reflects great, magnificent nature, power and wealth of the Athens community in the golden age of Pericles (Frederick,43). Established on a rocky limestone hill, Acropolis serves as a great citadel that served as an inspirational hub of the city.It harbors the ruins of many Classical Greek temples and monuments, not forgetting the temple Parthenon. Constructed as a dedication to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon exhibits all the common structural features of Greek skill.
The temple is built of blocks of limestone and marble in addition to being founded on a limestone. The mineral was also used in small quantities for the decorative relief sculptures and friezes. Limestone was used cautiously due to its fragility. Marble was applied as the preferred material for columns, walls, and other weight-bearing parts. Construction of Acropolis took many years to complete due to its complexity in construction and monumental ambiguity.
Sculpture and Art in Ancient Greece
Greek art and sculpture has had a greet impact and uses in the world we live in most of the styles being described as the finest kind of art to be invented in the world. The skill has been reproduced by many artists in the world over in establishment of structures. These sculptures were very important as most of them given more information about their religious belief, their gods, mythical creatures and their ancient culture in general. For instance, Romans are well known for their great respect for their heroes and legends. These served a critical role in preserving their history. The Greeks learned how to use technology long time ago, and they could use this skill to make gates and tombs and how to use different metals in art by applying different Mycenaean techniques. The lion gate is an example of their masonry skills. They were respectable goldsmiths and made items such as ivory figures and rock crystals dating back to the 16th century. Great statues were made to display various aspects of their religion. It also placed at major points of their temples and city (Spawforth, 26).
Modern day uses of the temples
More religious buildings were constructed for believers across all walks of life to meet there and on a regular basis to repent and celebrate their god. This also served to strengthen their faith and receive spiritual comfort through testimonies and encouragements from fellow believers and priests. Much about societal values have greatly transformed the world and the way we view things. This has been spearheaded by the widespread growth of technology in the world over (Mark & Malam 45).
More religious buildings today are aimed for worship. Groups of people come together on a regular basis to worship their God, reaffirm their faith and receive spiritual comfort. Most of the ancient Greek temples were rarely used this way. Instead, they were served as homes for the individual god or goddess who was believed to reside in the given temple and protected and sustained the community of Greeks. Whatever that was vital was the needs of the gods, they controlled the all the forces of nature, including the sun and rain, thus serving to nourish their crops and winds that drew their ships too. The gods were honored with daily offerings of farm produce such as food, drinks trading profits and military activity. Cult images usually seated or standing statues served to represent the god or the goddess in the most central place of the temple. Mostly made of wood but lately were made with more precious materials that were more permanent. The temples are much consecrated to serve only religious purposes.
Secularization as a term has multiple definitions and levels of meaning, its both a theory and a process in that some scholars believed that with a modernization of society there would be a decline in levels of religion. This secularism has several meanings, the most common being decline in levels of religiosity in society.
Most of the sacred, contemporary structure areas will soon turn out and be profaned with the growing capitalism in the world. Many of the places that were initially used for worship purposes and religious meeting are nowadays used for secular purposes instead of preserving the holiness of such centers. Churches and temples have been transformed, red to be market places where people go to sell out their belongings. They have also been used to undermine the less fortunate members of the society as the rich normally dominated such places and show off their material possessions. Politicians and administrators have often misused worship places for their selfish goals. This has promulgated all over the continent.

Works Cited Frederick, A. Cooper. The Temple of Apollo. Bassitas: vol. 1-4. 1996
Mark, Bergin and john, Malam. An Ancient Greek temple.USA: Brighter Child, 2001.Print Spawforth, Toney. The Complete Greek Temples. Australia: Thames &Hudson, 2006. Print


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