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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2011 (PC020404.10) ➔ Sacred Lighting: Exploring the Spiritual Relationship of Light within Religious Contexts


Related people/organizations

Dennis Kradolfer (designer)
Jerry Kugler (thesis advisor)
Brooke Carter (thesis advisor)
Nathalie Rozot (thesis advisor)




The interaction between light and space is significant to the act of composing sacred environments. Even ancient civilizations such as those that constructed the Stonehenge (2100 BC) and the Great Pyramids of Egypt (2575 BC), show that prehistoric cultures valued light as a sacred component. Within modern religious sects, light continues to have sacred importance that is often expressed within religious architecture, art, and practice. The methodology to elicit a better understanding of the profound impact of religious lighting is to investigate the sacred uses of light from different religious contexts. This investigation looks at three highly practiced religions that are often exhibited within everyday culture, news and media: Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. These religions offer distinct contexts rich with examples of modern and ancient architecture, art, and practice that reveal the sacred expression of light. The goal of this investigation is to gain a deeper understanding of the sacred and visceral nature of light as a device for design, and to understand spiritual lighting as a product of science and cultural values. By deconstructing light from its literal application within architecture, art, and practice, we can better understand light as a device that builds spirituality.



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