Baha'i House of Worship - Design, Construction and Community
|Look inside the book
This book tells the story of the architectural design and construction of Bahá’í Temples, or Houses of Worship, in a wide variety of climates and cultures.
Why are the Bahá’ís building temples at a time when organized religion is struggling to be relevant in a sceptical world? Their motivation can be found in the Bahá’í understanding of the relationship between religion and civilization, and its implications for the future of humankind.
In the past, there was a clear relationship between religion, civilization and architecture, as the pagodas, towers, steeples, minarets and domes of spiritual institutions defined the neighbourhoods and skylines of human settlements. Sacred structures played an essential role as symbols of connection to a transcendental realm and the belief that life should be informed by this aspect of reality.
The Bahá’í House of Worship renews this connection. It expresses the importance of spiritual reality and its application to the needs of the community. It ‘stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society. Men and women, children and youth, are held in its embrace as equals.’
This book introduces the experiences of the Bahá’í world community in its efforts to construct centres for worship and service open to all, intended for humanity’s coming of age as one human family.
This coffee table style book is richly illustrated with recent and historical photographs, as well as architectural drawings. It makes for an excellent gift to friends and family.
About the Authors
Joe Carter was born in Ottawa, Canada, studied architecture at McGill University and then worked in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where his architectural designs won awards. Moving to China in 1986, he taught design in the Tianjin University School of Architecture until early 1989 when he moved to Beijing. He worked for Chinese design institutes and foreign architects before founding his own firm, Towns Consultants. In 2003, Towns won an international competition to design the new campus in Beijing for the Central Academy of Drama. Joe’s book Some Thoughts on China and the New World Order was published in Chinese and English by the Workers’ Publishing House, Beijing, in 2009. In 2014-15 Joe and his wife, He Hongyu, were the Gerald Sheff Visiting Professors in the School of Architecture at McGill University, and now live in Montreal.
Nooshfar Afnan is an art historian who was born in Boston, US into a Persian Bahá’i family, grew up in Austria, and studied in New Zealand and Canada. In 2005 she moved to Beijing, China where she has raised a family and immersed herself in the vibrant contemporary art scene. She is a regular contributor to several contemporary art magazines and writes catalogue essays for artists and galleries.
Year of Publication: 2022
Dimensions: 300 x 250 mm