Similarities and Differences Between Christian Cathedrals and Buddhist Shrines

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Similarities and Differences Between Christian Cathedrals and Buddhist Shrines By: Kim Aument Dr. T. James Humanities 1 20 May 2014 Kim Aument Dr. T. James Humanities I 20 May 2014 Similarities and Differences between Christian Cathedrals and Buddhist Shrines From the time of prehistory, to the modern age, worship has played an important role in human civilization. Houses of worship and religious structures are as numerous and varied as the religions and populations that they serve. The Notre-Dame-Paris and the Great Stupa in Sanchi are both impressive structures that were built for religious purposes. Notre-Dame is a cathedral of Christian worship, and the Great Stupa is a Buddhist shrine. Even though the value systems of the religions vary, and there are significant differences between the styles and purposes of these structures; there are also a number of notable similarities. Notre-Dame in Paris is a Gothic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which is not uncommon for cathedrals. The Gothic style is very ornate and has many embellishments, including stained glass windows. During the Gothic era, the use of architectural forms such as pointed arches, rib vaults, and exterior building supports in the form of flying buttresses resulted in the creation of tall and light-filled buildings that are extremely impressive on both the interior and the exterior for their enormous size and loftiness (Ross 40). The floor plan of the cathedral was in the shape of the Latin cross and at the upper part of the building, gargoyles were believed to ward off evil (Fiero 308-311). The cathedral is located in the center of the city. In ancient times the cathedral was used to hold public meetings in addition to its main purpose as a building where Christians came to attend mass and worship God. Another of the many functions of Notre-Dame was to provide a

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