Date of Award


Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Dr. Creston Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Vander Poppen


Since the onset of Western civilization, religion has continuously influenced architectural and urban forms. These material echoes of religion are often unrecognized in the modern city. This work identifies, analyzes and classifies such influences, and illustrates their manifestation with the example of downtown Orlando. Religious influences can be observed in the locations of the cities, in their urban planning, and in many constructive and architectural elements and styles developed for religious purposes. One principal group of architectural elements that that carries a religious connotation is the elements of classical antiquity, which reflect their pagan origins. The other group is the religion-related elements of Christian architecture. Major contributors to the preservation of these influences are constant trends of copying historical styles. The thesis develops a taxonomy of religious influences that can be identified in the architecture of a modern Western city. The accompanying photographic monograph of downtown Orlando presents three predominant groups of buildings that either intentionally or unconsciously suggest the presence of religion in the city. Those are secular structures that incorporate various religious elements and styles, buildings with predominantly secular architecture that display the sign of the cross and church buildings designed in traditional styles characteristic to ecclesiastical structures. Accenting the mix of traditional and modern, as well as religious and secular forms in downtown Orlando, the monograph points to the often-disregarded echoes of religion and demonstrates the points developed in the theoretical part.

Thesis Photographic Monograph