Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to by Richard Kieckhefer

By Richard Kieckhefer

Considering church structure has come to an deadlock. Reformers and traditionalists are conversing prior one another. In Theology in Stone , Richard Kieckhefer seeks to aid either side circulate past the standoff towards a fruitful dialog approximately homes of worship. Drawing on a variety of historic examples with a watch to their modern relevance, he bargains fresh new principles in regards to the meanings and makes use of of church architecture.

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Additional info for Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley Architecture Design

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At each of these stations the clergy might perform blessings, aspersions, censing, prostrations, and other ritual acts. Liturgical manuals specified the order of clergy and choristers participating in processions, the vestments worn, the music specific to the occasion, and the objects carried (candles, cross, thuribles, books, or relics). The accouterments of processions at Salisbury Cathedral, including banners with the forms of a dragon and a lion, suggest something of a phantasmagoric display.

They may assume that clergy and congregation occupy fixed positions, or that movement is incidental, a way of arriving at positions proper to congregation or to clergy. 14 If they are conscious at all of a church’s processional character, viewers may focus on the secondary phenomenon of specific processions, the entrance procession especially, rather than the shift in use of space that marks the different stages of liturgical action. Longitudinal space can indeed be distancing, but there is perhaps no better space for inviting movement, for suggesting a sense of passage or of kinetic dynamism.

Still, much remains that is faithful to the early design of the interior. The very term “basilica” means “royal hall,” and because the earliest basilicas were built with Constantine’s patronage one might well expect these churches and others of their kind to be monuments celebrating the triumph of the Church and its alliance with the Empire. Thomas Mathews gives a radically different perception of these buildings. Pagan temples, he reminds us, had been places where priests entered to offer sacrifice to the gods while ordinary people waited outdoors in the courtyard.

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