Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley

Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley

Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley

Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley

Synopsis

Thinking about church architecture has come to an impasse. Reformers and traditionalists are talking past each other. Statements from both sides are often strident and dogmatic. In Theology in Stone, Richard Kieckhefer seeks to help both sides move beyond the standoff toward a fruitful conversation about houses of worship. Drawing on a wide range of historical examples with an eye to their contemporary relevance, he offers refreshing new ideas about the meanings and uses of church architecture. Kieckhefer begins with four chapters on the basic elements of church architecture-the overall arrangement of space, the use of an altar or pulpit as a centering focus, the aesthetics of church design, and the functions of sacred symbols. He goes on to offer three extended historical studies, dealing with churches of medieval England, revival-style churches of America, and modern churches of twentieth-century Germany. Drawing on these case studies, he concludes with a vision of a new theology of church architecture--historically grounded, yet framed for our own time. Examining church architecture from the third century to the twenty-first, Theology in Stone is a thoughtful, fresh, and informative work that addresses questions vital to the present while shedding a great deal of light on the past. The conception of church architecture that emerges is one that moves beyond the polemics of the "worship wars" to embrace the best of both the traditional and the modern.
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