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The Role of Gothic Cathedrals in the Popularization of the Catholic Church

When Gothic architecture first emerged in the 12th century, it made an immense impact on the popularization of faith and the attraction of new followers. Derived from the religious buildings of the Romanesque era, Gothic cathedrals were constructed specifically to represent the divine nature of God (Zhekova p. 18). For this purpose, the architects used innovative techniques to establish a brighter interior, have more light indoors, and create a sense of space (Zhekova p. 19). Namely, they utilized such techniques as pointed arches, large windows of stained glass, and rib vaults (Zhekova p. 19). All these methods implied the sense of divine light and closer connection of the followers to God. Additionally, the exterior and dimensions of the cathedrals were supposed to recreate the sacred feeling and become notable attractions of the cities. The large scale of the construction also allowed to accommodate the traveling pilgrims and mercenaries (Zhekova p. 20). As a result, Gothic cathedrals were constructed specifically to represent the concept of divine light, provide accommodation, and spread the Catholic faith.

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Furthermore, the construction of the cathedrals played a vital role in the popularization of faith and the unification of followers as well. Gothic cathedrals united the people of various statuses and occupations in a communal effort to build and maintain the sacred place (Latham p. 8). Architects, faith leaders, and ordinary people contributed to the establishment of cathedrals either by creating the design or via individual donations (Latham p. 7). In this sense, people could feel their impact and personal connection to God through the common objective. Ultimately, both the construction process and the finished buildings represented the vast significance of faith and the Catholic Church during the medieval period.

Works Cited

Latham, Matthew. “Gothic Cathedrals: A Shift in Christians’ Relationship with God.” Young Historians Conference, 2019.

Zhekova, Marina. “Gothic Architecture and Embellishment: A Luminous Shift Towards Divinity.” HiPo: The Langara Student Journal of History and Political Science, vol. 1, 2018, pp. 18-26.

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StudyCorgi. "The Role of Gothic Cathedrals in the Popularization of the Catholic Church." September 9, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-role-of-gothic-cathedrals-in-the-popularization-of-the-catholic-church/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Role of Gothic Cathedrals in the Popularization of the Catholic Church." September 9, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-role-of-gothic-cathedrals-in-the-popularization-of-the-catholic-church/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Role of Gothic Cathedrals in the Popularization of the Catholic Church'. 9 September.

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