How to Read Churches

How to Read Churches : A Crash Course in Christian Architecture

3.91 (255 ratings by Goodreads)
3.91 (255 ratings by Goodreads)

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This handy, easy-to-carry book offers a strictly visual approach to reading the architecture of churches.

Covering all the ecclesiastical building types of Western Christianity, readers are taken on a journey tracing the development of the church building from the simple stone halls of the Anglo-Saxon period right through to the eclectic designs of the nineteenth century.

Another addition to the bestselling 'How to Read...' series, How to Read Churches is a pocket-sized practical guide, showing readers how to search for architectural clues that tell hidden stories expressing the liturgical function and spiritual symbolism of a church building. The perfect companion to How to Read Buildings.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 135 x 165 x 22mm | 340g
  • Herbert Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (some col.)
  • 9781408128367
  • 161,361

Table of contents


Building Types
Church Types
A Grammar of Styles
Floor Plans
The Nave
Apses & Sanctuaries
Choirs & Stalls
Vaulting & Buttresses
Domes & Cupolas
Facades & Portals
Baptisteries & Fonts
Windows & Tracery
Towers & Spires
Altars & Tabernacles
Stained Glass
Ornaments & Symbols

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About Dr Denis R. McNamara

Denis R. McNamara holds a BA in the history of art from Yale University and a PhD in architectural history from the University of Virginia. He is the author of two books on Christian architecture and is currently assistant director of The Liturgical Institute, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois.
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Rating details

255 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 29% (73)
4 41% (105)
3 24% (60)
2 6% (15)
1 1% (2)
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