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A House for the Families of Abraham

Religion brings people together, but also drives others apart. This ability to bring people together crosses political, social, and economic boundaries, but divides people along religious lines due to different worship practices, rituals, and teachings that conflict with each other. This is especially true with the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – who all claim Abraham as an ancestor. Since the founding of the religions, interpretations of the religious texts have drastically divided the three religions. It has also created divides within the religions themselves. One could say that “Jewish Avraham is no more the Christian Abraham than the latter is the Islamic Ibrahim… and there is more than one Jewish (or Christian, or Muslim) Abraham.1”

This project is designed to create a multi-faith building that crosses the religious divides in the Abrahamic faiths. It attempts to encourage inter-faith dialogue by looking at three commonly used ritualistic items. These items – water, a meal, and the scripture, and their rituals – play a significant role in all three religions. The building is designed to expresses the similarities and differences of these items through the built environment in a way that attempts to increase communication and understanding between the religions and the surrounding community.

1 Guy Stroumsa, Professor Emeritus of the Study of Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford