Sacred Architecture and Public Space under the Conditions of a New Visibility of Religion

Helmut Jakob Deibl, Natalie Eder (Translator)

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Embedded in the paradigm of the “New Visibility of Religion,” this article addresses the question of the significance of sacred buildings for public spaces. ‘Visibility’ is conceived as religion’s presence in cities through the medium of architecture. In maintaining sacred buildings in cities, religions expose themselves to the conditions of how cities work. They cannot avoid questions such as how to counteract the tendency of public space to erode. Following some preliminary remarks on the “New Visibility of Religion,” I examine selected sacred buildings in Vienna. Next, I focus on the motifs of the city, the “ark” as a model for sacred buildings and the aesthetic dimension of public space. Finally, I consider the contribution of sacred buildings to contemporary public spaces. What is at issue is not the subject that moves in public and visits sacred buildings with the aim of acquiring knowledge or with the urgency to act, but rather the subject that feels and experiences itself in its dealings with public space and sacred buildings. In this context, I refer to the experience of disinterested beauty (Kant), anachronism, multi-perspectivity (Klaus Heinrich), and openness (Hans-Dieter Bahr)
Original languageEnglish
Article number379
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603206 Fundamental theology


  • Sacred Architeture
  • Public Space
  • City
  • Ark
  • Vienna
  • sacred architecture
  • city
  • ark
  • public space
  • Public space
  • Sacred architecture


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