With approximately 200 illustrations, the two-volume set examines major religions and their art and architecture from countries and continents all over the world. Sixteen chapters present basic religions and their beliefs, with the major focus on temples, churches, religious buildings, statues, paintings and other works of art and architecture created by believers.
“There is a such an incredible variety of visual expressions of religious belief but , in that variety, there are such commonalities,” Dr. Ross said. “I learned a lot … I very much challenged myself in turns of taking myself beyond the expertise I’ve traditionally maintained.”
Dr. Ross, a 1974 Tamalpais High and 1978 Dominican graduate who lives in Tiburon, has authored three other books, beginning in 1994 with “Text, Image, Message: Saints in Medieval Manuscript Illustrations.” She also has authored “Artists of the Middle Ages” and “Medieval Art: A Topical Dictionary.”
A Dominican faculty member since 1985, Dr. Ross has received numerous grants, including a Fulbright to the United Kingdom, and a Graves Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities. She said she spent three years researching and writing “Art and Architecture of the World’s Religions.”
“In a way I’ve been working on it my whole life because it’s something I’ve really been always interested in,” Dr. Ross said. “It’s a natural result of the type of courses I teach here at Dominican.”