#Book Review – Amazing Temples of the World; M. Kerrigan

Another coffee-table book from Amber Books, another delightful journey around the world. This time we’re going to explore temples, together with Michael Kerrigan. 

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Temples have been places of worship, a focus for spirituality and a place for communities to gather since the earliest days of human civilisation. The first temples date back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, deriving from the cult of deities and residing places for gods and immortals. Today, temple buildings remain lively focal points for the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh religions.

Organised by continent, Amazing Temples of the World offers the reader an intimate portrait of some spectacular and unusual places of worship dating from the fourth millennium BCE to the present.

Ornate or spartan, immense or intimate, from the Middle East to California, this book features such impressive places of worship as the Mahabodi Temple, India, built in the location where Buddha is thought to have achieved enlightenment; the fifth century BCE Temple of Confucius in Qufu, China, the largest Confucian temple in the world; Abu Simbel, in southern Egypt, the great carved monument to the Pharaoh Ramses II; the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, the spiritual home of the world’s 25 million Sikhs; and the Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, London, the biggest Hindu temple outside India. Illustrated with more than 180 photographs, Amazing Temples of the World includes more than 150 places of worship, from Ancient Greece and Rome, through traditional synagogues to modern Buddhist, Taoist and Sikh temples.

224 pages
Photography, travel
Amber Books
Goodreads

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Cover: Lovely. It caught my attention right from the start.

Yay!

  • What’s the point of photography books? Well, photography, of course! It’s all about the pictures, and I’m happy to say I’m 100% satisfied with that aspect. Every picture looks amazing, from the ones encompassing entire buildings to the ones focusing on details. 
  • The format is Amber-typical: four main sections (Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, North and South America) for easy browsing, introductions, and some historical info about every temple. It’s non-obtrusive, letting the reader enjoy each photo without bombarding them with written content. Books like Amazing Temples of the World are meant to be a feast for the eyes.
  • On point editing. As usual, there are no typos or mistakes, yay!

Special mention:

  • El Ghriba Synagogue, Tunisia. I love the coloring.
  • Japanese Peace Pagoda Unawatuna, Sri Lanka.
  • Seiganto-ji, Japan. 
  • Itsukushima Shrine, Japan.
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Indonesia.
  • Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii.
  • Subotica Synagogue, Serbia.

Nay!

  • There’s a serious lack of variety here. ‘Temple’ is a word with a broad meaning, and I can think about at least half a dozen grandiose churches that would have fit right in. The artistic and architectural value of Christian cathedrals is not well-represented. 

TL;DR


4 stars on GR.

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