Sacred Power, Sacred Space

Sacred Power, Sacred Space : An Introduction to Christian Architecture and Worship

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Jeanne Halgren Kildes survey of church architecture is unlike any other. Her main concern is not the buildings themselves, but rather the dynamic character of Christianity and how church buildings shape and influence the religion. Kilde argues that a primary function of church buildings is to represent and reify three different types of power: divine power, or ideas about God; personal empowerment as manifested in the individuals perceived relationship to the divine; and social power, meaning the relationships between groups such as clergy and laity. Each type intersects with notions of Christian creed, cult, and code, and is represented spatially and materially in church buildings. Kilde explores these categories chronologically, from the early church to the twentieth century. She considers the form, organization, and use of worship rooms; the location of churches; and the interaction between churches and the wider culture. Church buildings have been integral to Christianity, and Kildes important study sheds new light on the way they impact all aspects of the religion. Neither mere witnesses to transformations of religious thought or nor simple backgrounds for religious practice, Kilde identifies church buildings as dynamic participants in religious change and goldmines of information on Christianity more

Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 154 x 234 x 16mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 42 halftones, 10 line illustrations
  • 0195336062
  • 9780195336061
  • 520,274

Review quote

...raising the question of power and ideology in relation to church architecture is worthwhile and provides plenty of ground for discussion. * Tim Gorringe, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church *show more

About Jeanne Halgren Kilde

Jeanne Halgren Kilde is the author of When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America and co-editor of Rapture, Revelation and the End Times: Understanding the Left Behind Series. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and has taught religious studies and U.S. history at several institutions. She is currently affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of more

Table of contents

1. A Method for Thinking About Power Dynamics in Christian Space ; 2. Early Christian Meeting Space in the Roman Empire ; 3. Imperial Power in Constantinian and Byzantine Churches ; 4. From Abbey to Great Church, Fortress to Heavenly City ; 5. Transformations of the Renaissance and Reformation ; 6. Formalism and Non- or Anti-Formalism in Worship and Architecture ; 7. Historicism, Modernism, and Space ; 8. Concluding Observationsshow more

Rating details

27 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 15% (4)
4 30% (8)
3 41% (11)
2 11% (3)
1 4% (1)
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