What will future houses of worship look like?

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A rooftop garden in the design by Ugochukwu Nnebue and Sina Moayedi offers views to the east at sunrise. Image courtesy of Catholic University of America

Pilgrimage as a way of discovering the sacred is at the heart of Devon Brophy and Madeline Wentzell’s design, in which a labyrinth occupies much of the site, leading to a sacred space contained by stained glass. Image courtesy of Catholic University of America

Joseph Barrick and Ariadne Cerritelli conceive of this new spiritual place as a way to interact with the people around the globe, through a variety of media, such as a large screen visible from an open plaza. Image courtesy of Catholic University of America

Spiral ramps lit by natural light from above form the heart of the Ugochukwu Nnebue and Sina Moayedi design, which embraces many of the world’s religions and takes as its theme “giving and receiving,” which they note is at the core of human love. Image courtesy of Catholic University of America

(RNS) Over the past few decades the concept of a “church” — in fact, of all kinds of religious buildings — has been shifting, some might even say radically transforming, because of big changes in people’s attitudes about religion.

Surveys by groups such as Pew Research and Trinity College have shown a precipitous drop in people who belong to organized religions, particularly in the Christian and Jewish faiths and among those under 35.

Today the largest single segment of the population in the U.S. describes itself as “nones”: affiliated with no organized religious group. People of all ages are turning away from organized religion but they are not necessarily choosing to be atheists. It seems like they are looking for a more genuine, personal experience of the spiritual in their lives. Many call themselves “spiritual but not religious.”  … read more

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