Immerse yourself in the mysterious cosmos of the monastic world. Monasteries are places of spirituality, closely binding faith and learning. This book examines the traditions of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic monastic architecture from its early beginnings to the present. In introducing the world of the monasteries with its unique artistic and architectural forms, this book asks such questions as what were the rules that governed life in the monasteries and convents? What were the ideals that inspired - and continue to inspire - the form taken by monastic buildings?