reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed May 23, 2012 11:47 pm

Andrew Graham Dixon on
BBC Art of Eternity Painting Paradise


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r4GqvRc3pQ
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri May 25, 2012 7:58 pm

New Benedictine Abbey, Stamullen, Co. Meath

http://en.gloria.tv/?media=293502
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat May 26, 2012 11:53 pm

The Great East Window of York Minster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTdECk1b ... ure=g-vrec
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby PVC King » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:56 pm

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0601/artefa ... ffaly.html

This is happening far to often lately; although in this case a big congrats to the local Gardai for ensuring the return of this artifact. A few facts need to be put out there.

1. The owners of historical buildings including churchs, Cathedrals do not have unlimited funds to put in manned security guarding.

2. The Gardai don't have the resources to fully protect old buildings from theft.

3. If post theft restorations are to be authentic then metals do have to be used; commercial alternatives such as mastic asphalt are simply not an option.

Therefore to solve this blood boiling issue the problem needs to be looked at as to what happens after the crime.

Current position

1. Thief steals item
2. Thief sells to antique dealer or scrap metal dealer for cash
3. Thief is home free
4. Scrap dealer / antique dealer (to a lesser degree) gives bogus receipt and or description of vendor.
5. DPP advise Gardai that sufficient evidence does not exist to pursue recipient of stolen goods.

UK experience

In the UK metal theft has been a real issue affecting millions of people due to metal thieves stealing communications cableling serving commuter trains. In addition English Heritage estimates that some £770m (€947m) of damage was caused by metal thieves last year.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/prof ... age-crime/

Solution

1. Ban all scrap metal purchases in cash; where bank transfers cannot be made the cheques would need to be made bearing information that such instruments were not transferable to third parties.

2. Set up a list of protected articles housed in protected structures to be held by police and the Irish Antique Dealers Association.

3. Create manditory fines for handling stolen antiquities from protected structure of not less than 10 times the value estimated by a valuer appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.

Any other ideas?
PVC King
 

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:50 pm

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture


Editorial: Quo Vadis

by Duncan G. Stroik, appearing in Volume 21 (Spring 2012).

Three miles from Disneyland there is another famous theme park, which proclaims itself as “America’s Television Church.” The Crystal Cathedral, perhaps the first mega-church in the United States, is about to undergo conversion classes so that it can finally get the cathedra and bishop it has always wanted. The Diocese of Orange, California, has purchased the thirty-one-acre property and its four buildings for $53 million, a steal even in this real estate market. Realizing that recent cathedrals built from scratch have cost upwards of $200 and $250 million on the West Coast, retrofitting sounds like a financially savvy move. However, turning this prismatic beacon of televangelism into a house of God may be easier said than done.

Does this purchase signal a new role for Catholic charity: to buy up properties of bankrupt Protestant ministries? If so, there may be some good opportunities in the future. How does the bishop encourage full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy by purchasing one of the buildings most associated with religion as theater? Begun as an open-air service at a drive-in theater, the church was designed around Rev. Schuller’s flamboyant preaching. Associated with glitz and money, it was the site of fancy and expensive holiday celebrations including trapeze artists, live animals for Christmas, and a lavish $13 million production called Creation.

Said to be the first all-glass structure built for religious purposes, it is associated with the feel-good theology of the 1980s. How to convert a building like this and at the same time disassociate it from its founder and his theology? Crystal Cathedral Ministries was a religion about self-promotion, and, appropriately, its main buildings were designed in disparate modernist styles by three well-known architecture firms: Richard Neutra, Philip Johnson and John Burgee, and Richard Meier. Each building is a personal expression of the architect, so that together they create a campus without much to unify them. Perhaps what may be of more concern to its future owner, the Neutra tower (1968) does not meet earthquake codes and the Crystal Cathedral (1980) and the Welcoming Center (2003) are high maintenance glass and metal buildings. This could be an expensive investment.

Can the Crystal Cathedral be converted to a Catholic Cathedral? We shall see. After all, the much noted cathedrals of Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are all expressionistic modernist sculptures. The diocese has said that they will not change the exterior of the church and will not compromise the architectural integrity of the 2700-seat interior. Yet, without a radical transformation the building will always come across as a technological mega-church rather than as a sacred place. It needs to be totally gutted and reconceived. And even if the interior can be functionally retrofitted for Catholic liturgy, many believe that its identity will always be that of the Crystal Cathedral.

One of the major criticisms of Catholic architecture during the past fifty years is that it has incorrectly adopted many of the forms of low-church Protestantism: the theater form, a fear of sacred images, asymmetrical layouts, vacuous sanctuaries, minimalist liturgical elements, prominently placed Jacuzzis for baptism, and the banishment of the Blessed Sacrament to the baptistry. The altar area becomes a stage with a focus on entertainment alongside praise bands that perform upbeat music. In response, liturgists have argued that all of these things are simply the outgrowth if not the requirement of Vatican II. Are they finally admitting their agenda by purchasing a ready for TV mega-church complete with a jumbotron and three huge balconies for the “spectators”?

The timing of this is wrong. A whole new generation of priests, laity, and theologians has grown up with this stuff and find these Protestant innovations dated and lacking in substance. They desire an architecture that grows out of the Church’s rich tradition and that will enable them in worship. Asked what cathedrals should look like in the twenty-first century, they point to Saint Patrick’s in New York, Saint Peter’s in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, and other obvious suspects. These are buildings constructed hundreds of years ago, yet continue to speak to believers and unbelievers alike today. A timeless architecture built for the ages, a cathedral should be a durable building constructed out of masonry, transcendent in height, and directional in length. Unfortunately for the new generation and their children, the Orange diocese has chosen the opposite direction and will foist on them a building that is of its time and not particularly suited to Catholic worship and devotion. Twenty years from now, it will not matter that Orange got a really good deal whereas another California diocese quadrupled its budget. People will simply ask if it is a beautiful cathedral, worthy of the Creator.


Duncan G. Stroik is the editor of Sacred Architecture Journal.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:12 pm

The Journal of Sacred Architecture

Ecclesiastical Sprawl Repair

http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/artic ... wl_repair/
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:49 pm

Journal of Sacred Architacture


Domus Dei, Quae Est Ecclesia Dei Vivi: The Myth of the Domus Ecclesiae

by Steven J. Schloeder, appearing in Volume 21

A desire of the ressourcement movement was to recover the true meaning of the Christian liturgical assembly and the true meaning of Christian assembly space. Therefore, it was commonly held that the Church should emulate the early Christian Church in their liturgical practices and its surroundings. The architecture should be simplified to heighten the symbolic expression of the gathered community. Architectural accretions should be removed as nonessential, distracting, and counterproductive to the goal of “active participation.”

Active Participation

It is historically curious that the desire to promote active participation of the faithful came to imply a radical reductionism in the majesty, beauty, iconography, and symbolism of church buildings. The notion of “active participation” as the genesis of the twentieth-century liturgical reforms was first articulated by Saint Pope Pius X (d. 1914) in a small exhortation on sacred music, Tra le Sollecitudini. Pius X reminds the faithful of the importance of the church building in the formation of the Christian soul through the Christian liturgy:

Among the cares of the pastoral office…a leading one is without question that of maintaining and promoting the decorum of the House of God in which the august mysteries of religion are celebrated, and where the Christian people assemble to receive the grace of the Sacraments…Nothing should have place, therefore, in the temple calculated to disturb or even merely to diminish the piety and devotion of the faithful, nothing that may give reasonable cause for disgust or scandal, nothing, above all, which directly offends the decorum and sanctity of the sacred functions and is thus unworthy of the House of Prayer and of the Majesty of God.1

For Pius X, “the sanctity and dignity of the temple” was important so that the faithful might acquire the proper spirit for true “active participation” in the holy liturgy. Active participation properly understood is the goal of worship in the liturgy―it is the end, not the means. Among other things, the means include that the liturgy is done well in a place aptly designed for worship. In the mind of Pius, the church building ought be constructed to express the majesty and dignity of the House of God.

Given the clear intent expressed in this motu proprio of Saint Pius X as the point of departure for the twentieth-century Liturgical Movement, how are we to explain the subsequent diminishment of the church building as a sacramental sign of the heavenly realities?

The Mid-Century Liturgical Arguments

The typical rhetoric of the mid-century liturgical authors was that we ought to build churches for the “modern man” or “constructed to serve men of our age.” Styles and forms from previous ages were declared “defunct” or “no longer vital.” One even finds the condemnation of wanting a “church that looks like a church” as being “nostalgic”―an unhealthy yearning for a past Golden Age that really never was.2

For instance, Edward Mills wrote in The Modern Church: “If we do not build churches in keeping with the spirit of the age we shall be admitting that religion no longer possesses the same vitality as our secular buildings.”3 His book concerns topics such as efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations. It is worth mentioning that only a few years before this book, Mills had written The Modern Factory, with the same rationalistic concerns for efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations.

But we see something else going on in the mid-century writers. One cannot simply discard two millennia of sacred architectural forms and styles without having a new paradigm to replace it, and one cannot have a valid new paradigm without have grounds for discarding the old paradigm. The paradigm itself needed to change: and all the better if the new paradigm was promoted as the “authentic” paradigm, the recovery of what was lost.

Within this rhetoric of building churches for our age and in the willingness to discard the past is an embedded mythos. By this accounting, the Church began to formalize her liturgy and her architecture only after the Edict of Milan, when Constantine first legalized Christianity. The imperially sponsored building programs brought formality and the hierarchical trappings of elements take from the Imperial court.4 Prior to this Pax Constantiniana, the Church was a domestic enterprise, and the model of domestic architecture―the domus ecclesiae (literally, “house of the church”)―was the simple, humble, and hospitable residential form in which early Christians gathered to meet the Lord and meet one another in the Lord for fellowship, meals, and teaching. This became valued as a model for contemporary worship and self-understanding. The early house church―seen as pure, simple, unsullied by later liturgical and architectural accretions without the trappings of hierarchy and formality―was to be the model for modern liturgical reform.

Image


Basilica of Constantine at Trier, nave and large apse at one end (Photo: Berthold Werner).

As Father Richard Vosko surmised, “The earliest understanding of a Christian church building implies that it is a meeting house—a place of camaraderie, education and worship. In fact, the earliest Christian tradition clearly held that the Church does not build temples to honor God. That is what the civic religions did.”5 This notion was put most forcefully by E.A. Sovik, writing: “It is conventionally supposed that the reasons that Christians of the first three centuries built almost no houses of worship were that they were too few, or too poor, or too much persecuted. None of these is true. The real reason that they didn’t build was that they didn’t believe in ecclesiastical building.”6

The ascendency of the residential model as the authentic liturgical form raised another question of architectural history: what to do with the intervening 1700 years of church building? For the mid-century and later architectural writers, the simple answer was that the domestic model was the ideal, and all later grand and hierarchical buildings are the deviations. Therefore, all the intervening eras, liturgical and artistic expressions, and architectural forms and styles came in for censure.

The changes in the age of Constantine were implicated for the advent of clericalism, turning the congregation into passive viewers at a formalistic ritual, the loss of liturgical and spiritual intimacy, and the subjugation of the Church’s evangelical mission to the politics of the Emperor. The Christian basilica was thereby rejected as an expression of power-mongering and imperialistic tendencies.7 The Byzantine churches were rejected for their courtly imperial formality, where the ministers are hidden behind the iconostasis, only to venture out in courtly processions. The Romanesque was rejected for its immensely long naves that separated the people from God, and the proliferation of side altars required for the monks to fulfill their daily obligations to say private Masses.8 The Gothic style was criticized for its alienating monumentalism and for its reliquaries of dubious merit.9 Baroque architecture comes in for special censure: for triumphalism, for Tridentine rubricism, for pagan artistic themes and sensuality, for hyper-valorization of the Eucharist in reaction to Protestantism, and for dishonesty in the use of materials.10 Father Louis Bouyer’s judgment of the Counterreformation liturgy was that it was “embalmed” – devoid of life and vitality.11

The decided trend of mid-twentieth century liturgical and architectural thinking was to reject historical styles. Clearing the table to start anew, with a sweep of the hand, Father Reinhold dismissed all previous architectural eras, styles and forms:

Conclusion: We see that all these styles were children of their own day. None of their forms are ours. We have concrete, steel, wood compositions, brick, stone, glass of all kinds, plastic materials, reverse cycle heat and radiant heat. We can no longer identify the minority, called Christendom, and split in schisms, with the kingdom of God on earth. Our society is a pluralistic one and lives in a secularist atmosphere… [O]ur architects must find as good an expression in our language of forms, as our fathers did in theirs.12

The Problem of the Domus Ecclesiae

Thus were 1700 years of Christian architectural history discarded as liturgically erroneous and inapplicable for contemporary buildings in favor of simpler domestic-scaled places for assembly. This however, was not manufactured out of thin air. It was clear from Scripture that the early Church worshipped in the residences of the wealthier members of the community. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions mention a wealthy and powerful man who gave over his great house to the Church to establish what ought to be considered the first ‘cathedral’ as the chair of Peter.13 Given the lack of excavated basilicas from the pre-Constantinian era, it was assumed that there was some sort of organic development between the domestic house and the basilica that only found full expression in the fourth century. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many historians grappled with the question of transition between these two forms, looking at the Roman house with the triclinium, various sorts of intermediate structures such as the aura ecclesia, adaptations of the Roman civic basilica, and the architecture of the imperial palace, among others.14

These speculations all went by the wayside in the mid-century, and the model of the house church came to the fore, with the discovery of the church at Dura Europos in the 1930s. This discovery was of profound importance given that it was the only known identifiable and dateable pre-Constantinian church. It was obviously a residence converted to the needs of a small Christian community. Significantly, it was also a rather late dated church―about 232 AD―and quite in keeping with the expectations from all the various scriptural references to a domestic liturgical setting.15 Henceforth, especially in the late 1950s and the 1960s, the dominant thesis in liturgical circles took the domus ecclesiae as the architectural model for pre-Constantinian Christian architecture. The common vision for new parishes built in the wake of Vatican II was therefore toward simpler, more domestically-scaled buildings in emulation of the domus ecclesiae in which Christians supposedly gathered before the Imperial approbation of Christianity in the fourth century.

Image


Interior of Saint John the Evangelist Church, West Chester, OH, by Richard Vosko, PhD and John Ruetschle Architects (Photo: stjohnwc.org).

The only problem for this romantic model of a domestic residential architecture, built for a small gathering of early Christians celebrating a simple agape meal, is its dubious merit.

Domus ecclesiae―popular among liturgists to emphasize the communal nature of the assembly―is not a particularly apt term. More to the point, it is simply anachronistic. The phrase domus ecclesiae is not found in Scripture. No first, second, or third-century author uses the term to describe the church building. The phrase domus ecclesiae cannot be found to describe any church building before the Peace of Constantine (313 A.D.), but rather seems used to imply a building owned by the Christians, such as a bishop’s residence.16

There are many other ancient terms used to identify the church building, but domus Dei seems to be of particular importance. Throughout the New Testament, the assembly of Christians is called domus Dei, the house of God. Paul’s passage in 1 Tim 3:15 could not be clearer: in domo Dei … quae est ecclesia Dei vivi (“the house of God, which is the church of the living God”). Likewise, domus Dei or its derivative domestic Dei (household of God) is found in Eph 2:19, Heb 10:21, and 1 Pt 4:17.

Following scripture, Tertullian (d. 220) used domus Dei in a way that can only mean a church building. This key term, domus Dei and its Greek equivalent oikos tou theou, is found in Hippolytus (d. 235), Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), and Eusebius (d. 339), among others. But even oikos or domus does not suggest any humble residential or domestic association. Oikos is generally a house, but it can also serve to describe a temple (as in a house of the gods). Similarly, domus could also refer to the grandest of buildings, such as the emperor’s palace—domus divine—or Nero’s ostentatious Domus Aurea. These are hardly small-scale and intimate associations. It seems that long before the time of Constantine, the Church had already begun to move out of the residential environments we read of in the book of Acts and the letters of Paul.

Textual Counter Evidence

The problem is that we know very little about pre-Constantinian liturgy or Christian architecture. Yet from the scant literary evidence we do have, we should not reject the strong probability that even in the second century the Church owned land and built special buildings for the community. The earliest record of the special purpose church building seems to be from Chronicle of Arbela, a fifth-century Syrian manuscript which tells us that Bishop Isaac (Ishaq) (135-148) “had built a large well-ordered church which exists today.”17 The Chronicles of Edessa mention a Christian church destroyed in a city-wide flood around 201.18 Around the year 225 A.D. Christians acquired a piece of public property in a dispute with inn-keepers to build a church with the explicit blessing of Emperor Severus Alexander, who determined “that it was better for some sort of a god to be worshipped there than for the place to be handed to the keepers of an eating-house.”19

Image


Saint Georgeous Church, Rihab, Jordan, of 230 AD, which stands atop an archeological site of a first century church discovered in 2008 (photo: rihabresearchcenter.blogspot.com).

The pagan Porphyry (d. 305), writing in the second half of the third century, attacks the Christians who, in “imitating the erection of the temples, build very large houses20, into which they go together and pray.”21 The Emperor Aurelian (d. 275) makes passing reference to a Christian church (Christianorum ecclesia) in contrast to his own religious temple (templo deorum omnia).22 Lactantius (d. 320) recounts the destruction of the church in Nicomedia, calling it a “lofty edifice” and describes how it was “situated on rising ground, within the view of the palace” and how the emperors Diocletian and Galerius could see it and debated whether to burn it to the ground or pull it down.23 It seems that, if the Emperor of the Roman Empire knew a Christian church when he saw one, it was no simple obscure house.

The Problem of Place

Despite the textual evidence that argues for significant church buildings before the age of Constantine, the dearth of archeological evidence for formal church buildings has seemed persuasive. With the recent discovery of a pre-Constantinian basilica at Aqaba it seems timely for liturgists and architects to reconsider the validity of the residential domus ecclesiae as a meaningful model for contemporary church architecture. The Aqaba church dates comfortably to 300, and perhaps as early as 280 A.D.24 We have no knowledge of what other pre-Constantinian churches looked like, but we can have certainty that Christians had special, purpose-built, urban-scale churches before the Emancipation in 313 A.D. We should therefore reevaluate the claims about the “authenticity” of the simple house church as a meaningful architectural model for the Christian assembly both in the early Church and for today.

However, we should also consider the emotional impetus for the house church. The romantic notion of the primitive house church has a strong sense of attraction: the desire for more communitarian and domestic church buildings is enticing in the alienating condition of post-agrarian and post-industrial modern life. Both the massive scale of the modern city and the anonymity and placelessness of suburban sprawl contribute to the desire for a sense of domestic rootedness. Increased mobility in the modern work force and the consequent breakdown of traditional community and family life also create a tension and a desire for familiarity, welcome, and belonging in the parish community.

These perhaps contribute to the nostalgic longing for a more domestic parish facility. But the church building must function on a variety of levels. Church architecture is necessarily symbolic, and the various metaphors by which we understand church buildings are derived from the metaphors by which we understand the Church. These metaphors find their poignancy and potency in the human condition: matters of embodiment, relationship, dwelling, and community life form a matrix of symbols for the Church, the parish community, the liturgy, and church architecture. Among the most significant Scriptural images for the Ecclesia (and therefore the liturgy and the church building) are the Body of Christ, the nuptial relationship, the Tent of Dwelling/ Temple of Solomon, and the Heavenly City. These speak of the fundamental human experiences of embodiment, of marriage and domestic family life, of dwelling and habitation, and of social life.

This residential model of domus ecclesiae has been placed into a false opposition to the domus Dei as a model for sacred architecture. Both are models that find their validity in the human experience of dwelling and family life, but the former has come to imply an immanent expression of the home for the local community whereas the latter has a transcendental and eschatological horizon that is more apt for sacramental buildings that are called to be “truly worthy and beautiful and be signs and symbols of heavenly realities.”25 The desire for a domestically-scaled liturgical environment is not wrong per se, but it cannot stand in isolation without reference to the broader framework of ecclesiastical, liturgical, and architectural symbolism. All are needed for the person and the community to understand how the liturgy and the liturgical environment express and participate in a greater sacramental reality beyond the confines of the local assembly.

If the domestic model has no sure foundation, then the arguments erected for rejecting the hierarchical and formal models of liturgy; for discarding the sacramental language of Christian architecture in favor of a functionalist and programmatic approach to building; and for dismissing any appeals to the rich treasure trove of Catholic architectural history and various historical styles are susceptible to falling like a house of cards.

Image


Isometric of the House Church at Dura-Europus circa 232 AD (after Crawfoot; Photo:Dura-Europus, by JW Crawfoot, Antiquity Vol 19, No 75: 113-121).


Steven J. Schloeder, PhD AIA is the founder of Liturgical Environs PC, an architectural firm specializing in Catholic church projects across the United States. He is the author of Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1998), among many other articles in scholarly and popular journals. He can be contacted at steve@liturgicalenvirons.com.


1 Pius X, Tra le Sollecitudine, November 22, 1903.
2 See for instance, Maurice Lavanoux, “Religious Art and Architecture Today,” in F. McManus, ed. The Revival of the Liturgy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 152-54.
3 Edward Mills, The Modern Church (London: The Architectural Press, 1956), 16. See also Mills, The Modern Factory (London: The Architectural Press, 1951).
4 Cf. Kevin Seasoltz, A Sense of the Sacred (London: Continuum, 2005), 95-98.
5 Richard Vosko, God’s House Is Our House: Re-Imagining the Environment for Worship (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2006), 22.
6 Edward A. Sovik, “The Place of Worship: Environment for Action,” in Mandus A Egge, ed. Worship: Good News in Action (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1973), 98. Quoted in Mark A. Torgerson, An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 152-53.
7 Vosko, (2006): 27; Michael E. DeSanctis, Building from Belief: Advance, Retreat, and Compromise in the Remaking of Catholic Church Architecture (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2002), 30.
8 Joseph Rykwert, Church Building (London: Burns and Oates, 1966), 81.
9 H.A. Reinhold, The Dynamics of Liturgy (New York: Macmillan, 1961), 87.
10 H.A. Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1952), 13.
11 Louis Bouyer, Life and Liturgy (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1965), 7. Also Kevin Seasoltz The House of God: Sacred Art and Church Architecture (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 110-114.
12 Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture 32.
13 Ps.-Clement. Recognitions. 10.71.
14 E.g., S. Lang, “A Few Suggestions Toward a New Solution of the Origin of the Early Christian Basilica,” Rivista di archeologia Christiana 30 (1934): 189-208.
15 Cf. Kimberly Bowes, “Early Christian Archaeology: A State of the Field”, in Religious Compass 2/4 (2008): 575-619.
16 Katerina Sessa, “Domus Ecclesiae: Rethinking a Category of Ante Pacem Christian Space,” in Journal of Theological Studies, 60:1 (April 2009): 90-108.
17 Cf. Sources Syriaques. t.1, trans by A. Mignana (Mossoul: Imprimerie des Peres Dominicains, 1907). NB: Davies gives the dates even earlier as 123-136 in his The Origin and Development of Early Christian Church Architecture (London: SCM, 1952), 14.
18 Cf. Uwe Lang, Turning Towards the Lord (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 67. Harnack makes note of this in his The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (London: Williams and Norgate, 1908).
19 Lampridius, Life of Severus Alexander, 2.49.
20 The Greek in Macarius is “they build very large buildings”. Porphyry distinguishes between these large buildings and residential houses, “their own houses”, in which they lived. In Ezra 4:1, the same construction is used specifically for the building the Temple. There is no reason therefore to assume “oikos” meant a residential dwelling house, since it could be used for a house, any building, or a temple. Cf. Macarii Magnetis Quae Supersunt, ed. C. Blondel (Paris: Klincksieck, 1876), 201.
21 Porphyry, Adversus Christianos, known to us from the fragment addressed by the later Macarius in Apocriticus, 4. 21. Cf. T.W. Crafer, The Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes (London: SPCK, 1919), 146. Crafer notes that some took this passage as proof that Porphyry lived and wrote after the Emancipation, though he considers this argument weak. The conventional dates for Porphyry are c. 234 - c. 305.
22 Epistle of Aurelian, quoted in Joseph Bingham, Origines Ecclesiasticae (London: 1722), 8.1.1.
23 Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors, 12. Cf. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII, “Lactantius” (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1886). Lactantius uses the term editissimum to speak of the tall building, and notes the church was ex palatio videbatur.
24 Another formal basilican church, Saint George at Rihab Jordan, is quite controversially and, in my view, improbably dated to 230. The earliest accepted church currently is the Christian prayer hall in Meggido, Israel, which is not a basilica and found in the structure of a larger early third-century Roman villa. NM
25 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 288.
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:50 pm

Journal of Sacred Architacture

Vol. 21


Domus Dei, Quae Est Ecclesia Dei Vivi: The Myth of the Domus Ecclesiae


by Steven J. Schloeder, appearing in Volume 21

A desire of the ressourcement movement was to recover the true meaning of the Christian liturgical assembly and the true meaning of Christian assembly space. Therefore, it was commonly held that the Church should emulate the early Christian Church in their liturgical practices and its surroundings. The architecture should be simplified to heighten the symbolic expression of the gathered community. Architectural accretions should be removed as nonessential, distracting, and counterproductive to the goal of “active participation.”

Active Participation

It is historically curious that the desire to promote active participation of the faithful came to imply a radical reductionism in the majesty, beauty, iconography, and symbolism of church buildings. The notion of “active participation” as the genesis of the twentieth-century liturgical reforms was first articulated by Saint Pope Pius X (d. 1914) in a small exhortation on sacred music, Tra le Sollecitudini. Pius X reminds the faithful of the importance of the church building in the formation of the Christian soul through the Christian liturgy:

Among the cares of the pastoral office…a leading one is without question that of maintaining and promoting the decorum of the House of God in which the august mysteries of religion are celebrated, and where the Christian people assemble to receive the grace of the Sacraments…Nothing should have place, therefore, in the temple calculated to disturb or even merely to diminish the piety and devotion of the faithful, nothing that may give reasonable cause for disgust or scandal, nothing, above all, which directly offends the decorum and sanctity of the sacred functions and is thus unworthy of the House of Prayer and of the Majesty of God.1

For Pius X, “the sanctity and dignity of the temple” was important so that the faithful might acquire the proper spirit for true “active participation” in the holy liturgy. Active participation properly understood is the goal of worship in the liturgy―it is the end, not the means. Among other things, the means include that the liturgy is done well in a place aptly designed for worship. In the mind of Pius, the church building ought be constructed to express the majesty and dignity of the House of God.

Given the clear intent expressed in this motu proprio of Saint Pius X as the point of departure for the twentieth-century Liturgical Movement, how are we to explain the subsequent diminishment of the church building as a sacramental sign of the heavenly realities?

The Mid-Century Liturgical Arguments

The typical rhetoric of the mid-century liturgical authors was that we ought to build churches for the “modern man” or “constructed to serve men of our age.” Styles and forms from previous ages were declared “defunct” or “no longer vital.” One even finds the condemnation of wanting a “church that looks like a church” as being “nostalgic”―an unhealthy yearning for a past Golden Age that really never was.2

For instance, Edward Mills wrote in The Modern Church: “If we do not build churches in keeping with the spirit of the age we shall be admitting that religion no longer possesses the same vitality as our secular buildings.”3 His book concerns topics such as efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations. It is worth mentioning that only a few years before this book, Mills had written The Modern Factory, with the same rationalistic concerns for efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations.

But we see something else going on in the mid-century writers. One cannot simply discard two millennia of sacred architectural forms and styles without having a new paradigm to replace it, and one cannot have a valid new paradigm without have grounds for discarding the old paradigm. The paradigm itself needed to change: and all the better if the new paradigm was promoted as the “authentic” paradigm, the recovery of what was lost.

Within this rhetoric of building churches for our age and in the willingness to discard the past is an embedded mythos. By this accounting, the Church began to formalize her liturgy and her architecture only after the Edict of Milan, when Constantine first legalized Christianity. The imperially sponsored building programs brought formality and the hierarchical trappings of elements take from the Imperial court.4 Prior to this Pax Constantiniana, the Church was a domestic enterprise, and the model of domestic architecture―the domus ecclesiae (literally, “house of the church”)―was the simple, humble, and hospitable residential form in which early Christians gathered to meet the Lord and meet one another in the Lord for fellowship, meals, and teaching. This became valued as a model for contemporary worship and self-understanding. The early house church―seen as pure, simple, unsullied by later liturgical and architectural accretions without the trappings of hierarchy and formality―was to be the model for modern liturgical reform.

Image


Basilica of Constantine at Trier, nave and large apse at one end (Photo: Berthold Werner).

As Father Richard Vosko surmised, “The earliest understanding of a Christian church building implies that it is a meeting house—a place of camaraderie, education and worship. In fact, the earliest Christian tradition clearly held that the Church does not build temples to honor God. That is what the civic religions did.”5 This notion was put most forcefully by E.A. Sovik, writing: “It is conventionally supposed that the reasons that Christians of the first three centuries built almost no houses of worship were that they were too few, or too poor, or too much persecuted. None of these is true. The real reason that they didn’t build was that they didn’t believe in ecclesiastical building.”6

The ascendency of the residential model as the authentic liturgical form raised another question of architectural history: what to do with the intervening 1700 years of church building? For the mid-century and later architectural writers, the simple answer was that the domestic model was the ideal, and all later grand and hierarchical buildings are the deviations. Therefore, all the intervening eras, liturgical and artistic expressions, and architectural forms and styles came in for censure.

The changes in the age of Constantine were implicated for the advent of clericalism, turning the congregation into passive viewers at a formalistic ritual, the loss of liturgical and spiritual intimacy, and the subjugation of the Church’s evangelical mission to the politics of the Emperor. The Christian basilica was thereby rejected as an expression of power-mongering and imperialistic tendencies.7 The Byzantine churches were rejected for their courtly imperial formality, where the ministers are hidden behind the iconostasis, only to venture out in courtly processions. The Romanesque was rejected for its immensely long naves that separated the people from God, and the proliferation of side altars required for the monks to fulfill their daily obligations to say private Masses.8 The Gothic style was criticized for its alienating monumentalism and for its reliquaries of dubious merit.9 Baroque architecture comes in for special censure: for triumphalism, for Tridentine rubricism, for pagan artistic themes and sensuality, for hyper-valorization of the Eucharist in reaction to Protestantism, and for dishonesty in the use of materials.10 Father Louis Bouyer’s judgment of the Counterreformation liturgy was that it was “embalmed” – devoid of life and vitality.11

The decided trend of mid-twentieth century liturgical and architectural thinking was to reject historical styles. Clearing the table to start anew, with a sweep of the hand, Father Reinhold dismissed all previous architectural eras, styles and forms:

Conclusion: We see that all these styles were children of their own day. None of their forms are ours. We have concrete, steel, wood compositions, brick, stone, glass of all kinds, plastic materials, reverse cycle heat and radiant heat. We can no longer identify the minority, called Christendom, and split in schisms, with the kingdom of God on earth. Our society is a pluralistic one and lives in a secularist atmosphere… [O]ur architects must find as good an expression in our language of forms, as our fathers did in theirs.12

The Problem of the Domus Ecclesiae

Thus were 1700 years of Christian architectural history discarded as liturgically erroneous and inapplicable for contemporary buildings in favor of simpler domestic-scaled places for assembly. This however, was not manufactured out of thin air. It was clear from Scripture that the early Church worshipped in the residences of the wealthier members of the community. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions mention a wealthy and powerful man who gave over his great house to the Church to establish what ought to be considered the first ‘cathedral’ as the chair of Peter.13 Given the lack of excavated basilicas from the pre-Constantinian era, it was assumed that there was some sort of organic development between the domestic house and the basilica that only found full expression in the fourth century. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many historians grappled with the question of transition between these two forms, looking at the Roman house with the triclinium, various sorts of intermediate structures such as the aura ecclesia, adaptations of the Roman civic basilica, and the architecture of the imperial palace, among others.14

These speculations all went by the wayside in the mid-century, and the model of the house church came to the fore, with the discovery of the church at Dura Europos in the 1930s. This discovery was of profound importance given that it was the only known identifiable and dateable pre-Constantinian church. It was obviously a residence converted to the needs of a small Christian community. Significantly, it was also a rather late dated church―about 232 AD―and quite in keeping with the expectations from all the various scriptural references to a domestic liturgical setting.15 Henceforth, especially in the late 1950s and the 1960s, the dominant thesis in liturgical circles took the domus ecclesiae as the architectural model for pre-Constantinian Christian architecture. The common vision for new parishes built in the wake of Vatican II was therefore toward simpler, more domestically-scaled buildings in emulation of the domus ecclesiae in which Christians supposedly gathered before the Imperial approbation of Christianity in the fourth century.

Image


Interior of Saint John the Evangelist Church, West Chester, OH, by Richard Vosko, PhD and John Ruetschle Architects (Photo: stjohnwc.org).

The only problem for this romantic model of a domestic residential architecture, built for a small gathering of early Christians celebrating a simple agape meal, is its dubious merit.

Domus ecclesiae―popular among liturgists to emphasize the communal nature of the assembly―is not a particularly apt term. More to the point, it is simply anachronistic. The phrase domus ecclesiae is not found in Scripture. No first, second, or third-century author uses the term to describe the church building. The phrase domus ecclesiae cannot be found to describe any church building before the Peace of Constantine (313 A.D.), but rather seems used to imply a building owned by the Christians, such as a bishop’s residence.16

There are many other ancient terms used to identify the church building, but domus Dei seems to be of particular importance. Throughout the New Testament, the assembly of Christians is called domus Dei, the house of God. Paul’s passage in 1 Tim 3:15 could not be clearer: in domo Dei … quae est ecclesia Dei vivi (“the house of God, which is the church of the living God”). Likewise, domus Dei or its derivative domestic Dei (household of God) is found in Eph 2:19, Heb 10:21, and 1 Pt 4:17.

Following scripture, Tertullian (d. 220) used domus Dei in a way that can only mean a church building. This key term, domus Dei and its Greek equivalent oikos tou theou, is found in Hippolytus (d. 235), Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), and Eusebius (d. 339), among others. But even oikos or domus does not suggest any humble residential or domestic association. Oikos is generally a house, but it can also serve to describe a temple (as in a house of the gods). Similarly, domus could also refer to the grandest of buildings, such as the emperor’s palace—domus divine—or Nero’s ostentatious Domus Aurea. These are hardly small-scale and intimate associations. It seems that long before the time of Constantine, the Church had already begun to move out of the residential environments we read of in the book of Acts and the letters of Paul.

Textual Counter Evidence

The problem is that we know very little about pre-Constantinian liturgy or Christian architecture. Yet from the scant literary evidence we do have, we should not reject the strong probability that even in the second century the Church owned land and built special buildings for the community. The earliest record of the special purpose church building seems to be from Chronicle of Arbela, a fifth-century Syrian manuscript which tells us that Bishop Isaac (Ishaq) (135-148) “had built a large well-ordered church which exists today.”17 The Chronicles of Edessa mention a Christian church destroyed in a city-wide flood around 201.18 Around the year 225 A.D. Christians acquired a piece of public property in a dispute with inn-keepers to build a church with the explicit blessing of Emperor Severus Alexander, who determined “that it was better for some sort of a god to be worshipped there than for the place to be handed to the keepers of an eating-house.”19

Image


Saint Georgeous Church, Rihab, Jordan, of 230 AD, which stands atop an archeological site of a first century church discovered in 2008 (photo: rihabresearchcenter.blogspot.com).

The pagan Porphyry (d. 305), writing in the second half of the third century, attacks the Christians who, in “imitating the erection of the temples, build very large houses20, into which they go together and pray.”21 The Emperor Aurelian (d. 275) makes passing reference to a Christian church (Christianorum ecclesia) in contrast to his own religious temple (templo deorum omnia).22 Lactantius (d. 320) recounts the destruction of the church in Nicomedia, calling it a “lofty edifice” and describes how it was “situated on rising ground, within the view of the palace” and how the emperors Diocletian and Galerius could see it and debated whether to burn it to the ground or pull it down.23 It seems that, if the Emperor of the Roman Empire knew a Christian church when he saw one, it was no simple obscure house.

The Problem of Place

Despite the textual evidence that argues for significant church buildings before the age of Constantine, the dearth of archeological evidence for formal church buildings has seemed persuasive. With the recent discovery of a pre-Constantinian basilica at Aqaba it seems timely for liturgists and architects to reconsider the validity of the residential domus ecclesiae as a meaningful model for contemporary church architecture. The Aqaba church dates comfortably to 300, and perhaps as early as 280 A.D.24 We have no knowledge of what other pre-Constantinian churches looked like, but we can have certainty that Christians had special, purpose-built, urban-scale churches before the Emancipation in 313 A.D. We should therefore reevaluate the claims about the “authenticity” of the simple house church as a meaningful architectural model for the Christian assembly both in the early Church and for today.

However, we should also consider the emotional impetus for the house church. The romantic notion of the primitive house church has a strong sense of attraction: the desire for more communitarian and domestic church buildings is enticing in the alienating condition of post-agrarian and post-industrial modern life. Both the massive scale of the modern city and the anonymity and placelessness of suburban sprawl contribute to the desire for a sense of domestic rootedness. Increased mobility in the modern work force and the consequent breakdown of traditional community and family life also create a tension and a desire for familiarity, welcome, and belonging in the parish community.

These perhaps contribute to the nostalgic longing for a more domestic parish facility. But the church building must function on a variety of levels. Church architecture is necessarily symbolic, and the various metaphors by which we understand church buildings are derived from the metaphors by which we understand the Church. These metaphors find their poignancy and potency in the human condition: matters of embodiment, relationship, dwelling, and community life form a matrix of symbols for the Church, the parish community, the liturgy, and church architecture. Among the most significant Scriptural images for the Ecclesia (and therefore the liturgy and the church building) are the Body of Christ, the nuptial relationship, the Tent of Dwelling/ Temple of Solomon, and the Heavenly City. These speak of the fundamental human experiences of embodiment, of marriage and domestic family life, of dwelling and habitation, and of social life.

This residential model of domus ecclesiae has been placed into a false opposition to the domus Dei as a model for sacred architecture. Both are models that find their validity in the human experience of dwelling and family life, but the former has come to imply an immanent expression of the home for the local community whereas the latter has a transcendental and eschatological horizon that is more apt for sacramental buildings that are called to be “truly worthy and beautiful and be signs and symbols of heavenly realities.”25 The desire for a domestically-scaled liturgical environment is not wrong per se, but it cannot stand in isolation without reference to the broader framework of ecclesiastical, liturgical, and architectural symbolism. All are needed for the person and the community to understand how the liturgy and the liturgical environment express and participate in a greater sacramental reality beyond the confines of the local assembly.

If the domestic model has no sure foundation, then the arguments erected for rejecting the hierarchical and formal models of liturgy; for discarding the sacramental language of Christian architecture in favor of a functionalist and programmatic approach to building; and for dismissing any appeals to the rich treasure trove of Catholic architectural history and various historical styles are susceptible to falling like a house of cards.

Image


Isometric of the House Church at Dura-Europus circa 232 AD (after Crawfoot; Photo:Dura-Europus, by JW Crawfoot, Antiquity Vol 19, No 75: 113-121).


Steven J. Schloeder, PhD AIA is the founder of Liturgical Environs PC, an architectural firm specializing in Catholic church projects across the United States. He is the author of Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1998), among many other articles in scholarly and popular journals. He can be contacted at steve@liturgicalenvirons.com.


1 Pius X, Tra le Sollecitudine, November 22, 1903.
2 See for instance, Maurice Lavanoux, “Religious Art and Architecture Today,” in F. McManus, ed. The Revival of the Liturgy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 152-54.
3 Edward Mills, The Modern Church (London: The Architectural Press, 1956), 16. See also Mills, The Modern Factory (London: The Architectural Press, 1951).
4 Cf. Kevin Seasoltz, A Sense of the Sacred (London: Continuum, 2005), 95-98.
5 Richard Vosko, God’s House Is Our House: Re-Imagining the Environment for Worship (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2006), 22.
6 Edward A. Sovik, “The Place of Worship: Environment for Action,” in Mandus A Egge, ed. Worship: Good News in Action (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1973), 98. Quoted in Mark A. Torgerson, An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 152-53.
7 Vosko, (2006): 27; Michael E. DeSanctis, Building from Belief: Advance, Retreat, and Compromise in the Remaking of Catholic Church Architecture (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2002), 30.
8 Joseph Rykwert, Church Building (London: Burns and Oates, 1966), 81.
9 H.A. Reinhold, The Dynamics of Liturgy (New York: Macmillan, 1961), 87.
10 H.A. Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1952), 13.
11 Louis Bouyer, Life and Liturgy (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1965), 7. Also Kevin Seasoltz The House of God: Sacred Art and Church Architecture (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 110-114.
12 Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture 32.
13 Ps.-Clement. Recognitions. 10.71.
14 E.g., S. Lang, “A Few Suggestions Toward a New Solution of the Origin of the Early Christian Basilica,” Rivista di archeologia Christiana 30 (1934): 189-208.
15 Cf. Kimberly Bowes, “Early Christian Archaeology: A State of the Field”, in Religious Compass 2/4 (2008): 575-619.
16 Katerina Sessa, “Domus Ecclesiae: Rethinking a Category of Ante Pacem Christian Space,” in Journal of Theological Studies, 60:1 (April 2009): 90-108.
17 Cf. Sources Syriaques. t.1, trans by A. Mignana (Mossoul: Imprimerie des Peres Dominicains, 1907). NB: Davies gives the dates even earlier as 123-136 in his The Origin and Development of Early Christian Church Architecture (London: SCM, 1952), 14.
18 Cf. Uwe Lang, Turning Towards the Lord (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 67. Harnack makes note of this in his The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (London: Williams and Norgate, 1908).
19 Lampridius, Life of Severus Alexander, 2.49.
20 The Greek in Macarius is “they build very large buildings”. Porphyry distinguishes between these large buildings and residential houses, “their own houses”, in which they lived. In Ezra 4:1, the same construction is used specifically for the building the Temple. There is no reason therefore to assume “oikos” meant a residential dwelling house, since it could be used for a house, any building, or a temple. Cf. Macarii Magnetis Quae Supersunt, ed. C. Blondel (Paris: Klincksieck, 1876), 201.
21 Porphyry, Adversus Christianos, known to us from the fragment addressed by the later Macarius in Apocriticus, 4. 21. Cf. T.W. Crafer, The Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes (London: SPCK, 1919), 146. Crafer notes that some took this passage as proof that Porphyry lived and wrote after the Emancipation, though he considers this argument weak. The conventional dates for Porphyry are c. 234 - c. 305.
22 Epistle of Aurelian, quoted in Joseph Bingham, Origines Ecclesiasticae (London: 1722), 8.1.1.
23 Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors, 12. Cf. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII, “Lactantius” (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1886). Lactantius uses the term editissimum to speak of the tall building, and notes the church was ex palatio videbatur.
24 Another formal basilican church, Saint George at Rihab Jordan, is quite controversially and, in my view, improbably dated to 230. The earliest accepted church currently is the Christian prayer hall in Meggido, Israel, which is not a basilica and found in the structure of a larger early third-century Roman villa. NM
25 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 288.
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:50 pm

Journal of Sacred Architacture

Vol. 21


Domus Dei, Quae Est Ecclesia Dei Vivi: The Myth of the Domus Ecclesiae


by Steven J. Schloeder, appearing in Volume 21

A desire of the ressourcement movement was to recover the true meaning of the Christian liturgical assembly and the true meaning of Christian assembly space. Therefore, it was commonly held that the Church should emulate the early Christian Church in their liturgical practices and its surroundings. The architecture should be simplified to heighten the symbolic expression of the gathered community. Architectural accretions should be removed as nonessential, distracting, and counterproductive to the goal of “active participation.”

Active Participation

It is historically curious that the desire to promote active participation of the faithful came to imply a radical reductionism in the majesty, beauty, iconography, and symbolism of church buildings. The notion of “active participation” as the genesis of the twentieth-century liturgical reforms was first articulated by Saint Pope Pius X (d. 1914) in a small exhortation on sacred music, Tra le Sollecitudini. Pius X reminds the faithful of the importance of the church building in the formation of the Christian soul through the Christian liturgy:

Among the cares of the pastoral office…a leading one is without question that of maintaining and promoting the decorum of the House of God in which the august mysteries of religion are celebrated, and where the Christian people assemble to receive the grace of the Sacraments…Nothing should have place, therefore, in the temple calculated to disturb or even merely to diminish the piety and devotion of the faithful, nothing that may give reasonable cause for disgust or scandal, nothing, above all, which directly offends the decorum and sanctity of the sacred functions and is thus unworthy of the House of Prayer and of the Majesty of God.1

For Pius X, “the sanctity and dignity of the temple” was important so that the faithful might acquire the proper spirit for true “active participation” in the holy liturgy. Active participation properly understood is the goal of worship in the liturgy―it is the end, not the means. Among other things, the means include that the liturgy is done well in a place aptly designed for worship. In the mind of Pius, the church building ought be constructed to express the majesty and dignity of the House of God.

Given the clear intent expressed in this motu proprio of Saint Pius X as the point of departure for the twentieth-century Liturgical Movement, how are we to explain the subsequent diminishment of the church building as a sacramental sign of the heavenly realities?

The Mid-Century Liturgical Arguments

The typical rhetoric of the mid-century liturgical authors was that we ought to build churches for the “modern man” or “constructed to serve men of our age.” Styles and forms from previous ages were declared “defunct” or “no longer vital.” One even finds the condemnation of wanting a “church that looks like a church” as being “nostalgic”―an unhealthy yearning for a past Golden Age that really never was.2

For instance, Edward Mills wrote in The Modern Church: “If we do not build churches in keeping with the spirit of the age we shall be admitting that religion no longer possesses the same vitality as our secular buildings.”3 His book concerns topics such as efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations. It is worth mentioning that only a few years before this book, Mills had written The Modern Factory, with the same rationalistic concerns for efficient planning, technology, cost abatement, and environmental considerations.

But we see something else going on in the mid-century writers. One cannot simply discard two millennia of sacred architectural forms and styles without having a new paradigm to replace it, and one cannot have a valid new paradigm without have grounds for discarding the old paradigm. The paradigm itself needed to change: and all the better if the new paradigm was promoted as the “authentic” paradigm, the recovery of what was lost.

Within this rhetoric of building churches for our age and in the willingness to discard the past is an embedded mythos. By this accounting, the Church began to formalize her liturgy and her architecture only after the Edict of Milan, when Constantine first legalized Christianity. The imperially sponsored building programs brought formality and the hierarchical trappings of elements take from the Imperial court.4 Prior to this Pax Constantiniana, the Church was a domestic enterprise, and the model of domestic architecture―the domus ecclesiae (literally, “house of the church”)―was the simple, humble, and hospitable residential form in which early Christians gathered to meet the Lord and meet one another in the Lord for fellowship, meals, and teaching. This became valued as a model for contemporary worship and self-understanding. The early house church―seen as pure, simple, unsullied by later liturgical and architectural accretions without the trappings of hierarchy and formality―was to be the model for modern liturgical reform.

Image


Basilica of Constantine at Trier, nave and large apse at one end (Photo: Berthold Werner).

As Father Richard Vosko surmised, “The earliest understanding of a Christian church building implies that it is a meeting house—a place of camaraderie, education and worship. In fact, the earliest Christian tradition clearly held that the Church does not build temples to honor God. That is what the civic religions did.”5 This notion was put most forcefully by E.A. Sovik, writing: “It is conventionally supposed that the reasons that Christians of the first three centuries built almost no houses of worship were that they were too few, or too poor, or too much persecuted. None of these is true. The real reason that they didn’t build was that they didn’t believe in ecclesiastical building.”6

The ascendency of the residential model as the authentic liturgical form raised another question of architectural history: what to do with the intervening 1700 years of church building? For the mid-century and later architectural writers, the simple answer was that the domestic model was the ideal, and all later grand and hierarchical buildings are the deviations. Therefore, all the intervening eras, liturgical and artistic expressions, and architectural forms and styles came in for censure.

The changes in the age of Constantine were implicated for the advent of clericalism, turning the congregation into passive viewers at a formalistic ritual, the loss of liturgical and spiritual intimacy, and the subjugation of the Church’s evangelical mission to the politics of the Emperor. The Christian basilica was thereby rejected as an expression of power-mongering and imperialistic tendencies.7 The Byzantine churches were rejected for their courtly imperial formality, where the ministers are hidden behind the iconostasis, only to venture out in courtly processions. The Romanesque was rejected for its immensely long naves that separated the people from God, and the proliferation of side altars required for the monks to fulfill their daily obligations to say private Masses.8 The Gothic style was criticized for its alienating monumentalism and for its reliquaries of dubious merit.9 Baroque architecture comes in for special censure: for triumphalism, for Tridentine rubricism, for pagan artistic themes and sensuality, for hyper-valorization of the Eucharist in reaction to Protestantism, and for dishonesty in the use of materials.10 Father Louis Bouyer’s judgment of the Counterreformation liturgy was that it was “embalmed” – devoid of life and vitality.11

The decided trend of mid-twentieth century liturgical and architectural thinking was to reject historical styles. Clearing the table to start anew, with a sweep of the hand, Father Reinhold dismissed all previous architectural eras, styles and forms:

Conclusion: We see that all these styles were children of their own day. None of their forms are ours. We have concrete, steel, wood compositions, brick, stone, glass of all kinds, plastic materials, reverse cycle heat and radiant heat. We can no longer identify the minority, called Christendom, and split in schisms, with the kingdom of God on earth. Our society is a pluralistic one and lives in a secularist atmosphere… [O]ur architects must find as good an expression in our language of forms, as our fathers did in theirs.12

The Problem of the Domus Ecclesiae

Thus were 1700 years of Christian architectural history discarded as liturgically erroneous and inapplicable for contemporary buildings in favor of simpler domestic-scaled places for assembly. This however, was not manufactured out of thin air. It was clear from Scripture that the early Church worshipped in the residences of the wealthier members of the community. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions mention a wealthy and powerful man who gave over his great house to the Church to establish what ought to be considered the first ‘cathedral’ as the chair of Peter.13 Given the lack of excavated basilicas from the pre-Constantinian era, it was assumed that there was some sort of organic development between the domestic house and the basilica that only found full expression in the fourth century. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many historians grappled with the question of transition between these two forms, looking at the Roman house with the triclinium, various sorts of intermediate structures such as the aura ecclesia, adaptations of the Roman civic basilica, and the architecture of the imperial palace, among others.14

These speculations all went by the wayside in the mid-century, and the model of the house church came to the fore, with the discovery of the church at Dura Europos in the 1930s. This discovery was of profound importance given that it was the only known identifiable and dateable pre-Constantinian church. It was obviously a residence converted to the needs of a small Christian community. Significantly, it was also a rather late dated church―about 232 AD―and quite in keeping with the expectations from all the various scriptural references to a domestic liturgical setting.15 Henceforth, especially in the late 1950s and the 1960s, the dominant thesis in liturgical circles took the domus ecclesiae as the architectural model for pre-Constantinian Christian architecture. The common vision for new parishes built in the wake of Vatican II was therefore toward simpler, more domestically-scaled buildings in emulation of the domus ecclesiae in which Christians supposedly gathered before the Imperial approbation of Christianity in the fourth century.

Image


Interior of Saint John the Evangelist Church, West Chester, OH, by Richard Vosko, PhD and John Ruetschle Architects (Photo: stjohnwc.org).

The only problem for this romantic model of a domestic residential architecture, built for a small gathering of early Christians celebrating a simple agape meal, is its dubious merit.

Domus ecclesiae―popular among liturgists to emphasize the communal nature of the assembly―is not a particularly apt term. More to the point, it is simply anachronistic. The phrase domus ecclesiae is not found in Scripture. No first, second, or third-century author uses the term to describe the church building. The phrase domus ecclesiae cannot be found to describe any church building before the Peace of Constantine (313 A.D.), but rather seems used to imply a building owned by the Christians, such as a bishop’s residence.16

There are many other ancient terms used to identify the church building, but domus Dei seems to be of particular importance. Throughout the New Testament, the assembly of Christians is called domus Dei, the house of God. Paul’s passage in 1 Tim 3:15 could not be clearer: in domo Dei … quae est ecclesia Dei vivi (“the house of God, which is the church of the living God”). Likewise, domus Dei or its derivative domestic Dei (household of God) is found in Eph 2:19, Heb 10:21, and 1 Pt 4:17.

Following scripture, Tertullian (d. 220) used domus Dei in a way that can only mean a church building. This key term, domus Dei and its Greek equivalent oikos tou theou, is found in Hippolytus (d. 235), Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), and Eusebius (d. 339), among others. But even oikos or domus does not suggest any humble residential or domestic association. Oikos is generally a house, but it can also serve to describe a temple (as in a house of the gods). Similarly, domus could also refer to the grandest of buildings, such as the emperor’s palace—domus divine—or Nero’s ostentatious Domus Aurea. These are hardly small-scale and intimate associations. It seems that long before the time of Constantine, the Church had already begun to move out of the residential environments we read of in the book of Acts and the letters of Paul.

Textual Counter Evidence

The problem is that we know very little about pre-Constantinian liturgy or Christian architecture. Yet from the scant literary evidence we do have, we should not reject the strong probability that even in the second century the Church owned land and built special buildings for the community. The earliest record of the special purpose church building seems to be from Chronicle of Arbela, a fifth-century Syrian manuscript which tells us that Bishop Isaac (Ishaq) (135-148) “had built a large well-ordered church which exists today.”17 The Chronicles of Edessa mention a Christian church destroyed in a city-wide flood around 201.18 Around the year 225 A.D. Christians acquired a piece of public property in a dispute with inn-keepers to build a church with the explicit blessing of Emperor Severus Alexander, who determined “that it was better for some sort of a god to be worshipped there than for the place to be handed to the keepers of an eating-house.”19

Image


Saint Georgeous Church, Rihab, Jordan, of 230 AD, which stands atop an archeological site of a first century church discovered in 2008 (photo: rihabresearchcenter.blogspot.com).

The pagan Porphyry (d. 305), writing in the second half of the third century, attacks the Christians who, in “imitating the erection of the temples, build very large houses20, into which they go together and pray.”21 The Emperor Aurelian (d. 275) makes passing reference to a Christian church (Christianorum ecclesia) in contrast to his own religious temple (templo deorum omnia).22 Lactantius (d. 320) recounts the destruction of the church in Nicomedia, calling it a “lofty edifice” and describes how it was “situated on rising ground, within the view of the palace” and how the emperors Diocletian and Galerius could see it and debated whether to burn it to the ground or pull it down.23 It seems that, if the Emperor of the Roman Empire knew a Christian church when he saw one, it was no simple obscure house.

The Problem of Place

Despite the textual evidence that argues for significant church buildings before the age of Constantine, the dearth of archeological evidence for formal church buildings has seemed persuasive. With the recent discovery of a pre-Constantinian basilica at Aqaba it seems timely for liturgists and architects to reconsider the validity of the residential domus ecclesiae as a meaningful model for contemporary church architecture. The Aqaba church dates comfortably to 300, and perhaps as early as 280 A.D.24 We have no knowledge of what other pre-Constantinian churches looked like, but we can have certainty that Christians had special, purpose-built, urban-scale churches before the Emancipation in 313 A.D. We should therefore reevaluate the claims about the “authenticity” of the simple house church as a meaningful architectural model for the Christian assembly both in the early Church and for today.

However, we should also consider the emotional impetus for the house church. The romantic notion of the primitive house church has a strong sense of attraction: the desire for more communitarian and domestic church buildings is enticing in the alienating condition of post-agrarian and post-industrial modern life. Both the massive scale of the modern city and the anonymity and placelessness of suburban sprawl contribute to the desire for a sense of domestic rootedness. Increased mobility in the modern work force and the consequent breakdown of traditional community and family life also create a tension and a desire for familiarity, welcome, and belonging in the parish community.

These perhaps contribute to the nostalgic longing for a more domestic parish facility. But the church building must function on a variety of levels. Church architecture is necessarily symbolic, and the various metaphors by which we understand church buildings are derived from the metaphors by which we understand the Church. These metaphors find their poignancy and potency in the human condition: matters of embodiment, relationship, dwelling, and community life form a matrix of symbols for the Church, the parish community, the liturgy, and church architecture. Among the most significant Scriptural images for the Ecclesia (and therefore the liturgy and the church building) are the Body of Christ, the nuptial relationship, the Tent of Dwelling/ Temple of Solomon, and the Heavenly City. These speak of the fundamental human experiences of embodiment, of marriage and domestic family life, of dwelling and habitation, and of social life.

This residential model of domus ecclesiae has been placed into a false opposition to the domus Dei as a model for sacred architecture. Both are models that find their validity in the human experience of dwelling and family life, but the former has come to imply an immanent expression of the home for the local community whereas the latter has a transcendental and eschatological horizon that is more apt for sacramental buildings that are called to be “truly worthy and beautiful and be signs and symbols of heavenly realities.”25 The desire for a domestically-scaled liturgical environment is not wrong per se, but it cannot stand in isolation without reference to the broader framework of ecclesiastical, liturgical, and architectural symbolism. All are needed for the person and the community to understand how the liturgy and the liturgical environment express and participate in a greater sacramental reality beyond the confines of the local assembly.

If the domestic model has no sure foundation, then the arguments erected for rejecting the hierarchical and formal models of liturgy; for discarding the sacramental language of Christian architecture in favor of a functionalist and programmatic approach to building; and for dismissing any appeals to the rich treasure trove of Catholic architectural history and various historical styles are susceptible to falling like a house of cards.

Image


Isometric of the House Church at Dura-Europus circa 232 AD (after Crawfoot; Photo:Dura-Europus, by JW Crawfoot, Antiquity Vol 19, No 75: 113-121).


Steven J. Schloeder, PhD AIA is the founder of Liturgical Environs PC, an architectural firm specializing in Catholic church projects across the United States. He is the author of Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1998), among many other articles in scholarly and popular journals. He can be contacted at steve@liturgicalenvirons.com.


1 Pius X, Tra le Sollecitudine, November 22, 1903.
2 See for instance, Maurice Lavanoux, “Religious Art and Architecture Today,” in F. McManus, ed. The Revival of the Liturgy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 152-54.
3 Edward Mills, The Modern Church (London: The Architectural Press, 1956), 16. See also Mills, The Modern Factory (London: The Architectural Press, 1951).
4 Cf. Kevin Seasoltz, A Sense of the Sacred (London: Continuum, 2005), 95-98.
5 Richard Vosko, God’s House Is Our House: Re-Imagining the Environment for Worship (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2006), 22.
6 Edward A. Sovik, “The Place of Worship: Environment for Action,” in Mandus A Egge, ed. Worship: Good News in Action (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1973), 98. Quoted in Mark A. Torgerson, An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 152-53.
7 Vosko, (2006): 27; Michael E. DeSanctis, Building from Belief: Advance, Retreat, and Compromise in the Remaking of Catholic Church Architecture (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2002), 30.
8 Joseph Rykwert, Church Building (London: Burns and Oates, 1966), 81.
9 H.A. Reinhold, The Dynamics of Liturgy (New York: Macmillan, 1961), 87.
10 H.A. Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1952), 13.
11 Louis Bouyer, Life and Liturgy (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1965), 7. Also Kevin Seasoltz The House of God: Sacred Art and Church Architecture (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), 110-114.
12 Reinhold, Speaking of Liturgical Architecture 32.
13 Ps.-Clement. Recognitions. 10.71.
14 E.g., S. Lang, “A Few Suggestions Toward a New Solution of the Origin of the Early Christian Basilica,” Rivista di archeologia Christiana 30 (1934): 189-208.
15 Cf. Kimberly Bowes, “Early Christian Archaeology: A State of the Field”, in Religious Compass 2/4 (2008): 575-619.
16 Katerina Sessa, “Domus Ecclesiae: Rethinking a Category of Ante Pacem Christian Space,” in Journal of Theological Studies, 60:1 (April 2009): 90-108.
17 Cf. Sources Syriaques. t.1, trans by A. Mignana (Mossoul: Imprimerie des Peres Dominicains, 1907). NB: Davies gives the dates even earlier as 123-136 in his The Origin and Development of Early Christian Church Architecture (London: SCM, 1952), 14.
18 Cf. Uwe Lang, Turning Towards the Lord (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 67. Harnack makes note of this in his The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (London: Williams and Norgate, 1908).
19 Lampridius, Life of Severus Alexander, 2.49.
20 The Greek in Macarius is “they build very large buildings”. Porphyry distinguishes between these large buildings and residential houses, “their own houses”, in which they lived. In Ezra 4:1, the same construction is used specifically for the building the Temple. There is no reason therefore to assume “oikos” meant a residential dwelling house, since it could be used for a house, any building, or a temple. Cf. Macarii Magnetis Quae Supersunt, ed. C. Blondel (Paris: Klincksieck, 1876), 201.
21 Porphyry, Adversus Christianos, known to us from the fragment addressed by the later Macarius in Apocriticus, 4. 21. Cf. T.W. Crafer, The Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes (London: SPCK, 1919), 146. Crafer notes that some took this passage as proof that Porphyry lived and wrote after the Emancipation, though he considers this argument weak. The conventional dates for Porphyry are c. 234 - c. 305.
22 Epistle of Aurelian, quoted in Joseph Bingham, Origines Ecclesiasticae (London: 1722), 8.1.1.
23 Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors, 12. Cf. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII, “Lactantius” (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1886). Lactantius uses the term editissimum to speak of the tall building, and notes the church was ex palatio videbatur.
24 Another formal basilican church, Saint George at Rihab Jordan, is quite controversially and, in my view, improbably dated to 230. The earliest accepted church currently is the Christian prayer hall in Meggido, Israel, which is not a basilica and found in the structure of a larger early third-century Roman villa. NM
25 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 288.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby apelles » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:56 pm

PVC King wrote:http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0601/artefact-stolen-from-church-in-offaly.html

This is happening far to often lately; although in this case a big congrats to the local Gardai for ensuring the return of this artifact. A few facts need to be put out there.

1. The owners of historical buildings including churchs, Cathedrals do not have unlimited funds to put in manned security guarding.

2. The Gardai don't have the resources to fully protect old buildings from theft.

3. If post theft restorations are to be authentic then metals do have to be used; commercial alternatives such as mastic asphalt are simply not an option.

Therefore to solve this blood boiling issue the problem needs to be looked at as to what happens after the crime.

Current position

1. Thief steals item
2. Thief sells to antique dealer or scrap metal dealer for cash
3. Thief is home free
4. Scrap dealer / antique dealer (to a lesser degree) gives bogus receipt and or description of vendor.
5. DPP advise Gardai that sufficient evidence does not exist to pursue recipient of stolen goods.

UK experience

In the UK metal theft has been a real issue affecting millions of people due to metal thieves stealing communications cableling serving commuter trains. In addition English Heritage estimates that some £770m (€947m) of damage was caused by metal thieves last year.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/prof ... age-crime/

Solution

1. Ban all scrap metal purchases in cash; where bank transfers cannot be made the cheques would need to be made bearing information that such instruments were not transferable to third parties.

2. Set up a list of protected articles housed in protected structures to be held by police and the Irish Antique Dealers Association.

3. Create manditory fines for handling stolen antiquities from protected structure of not less than 10 times the value estimated by a valuer appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.

Any other ideas?


Well I for one would certainly agree with you PVC King that something radical needs to be done about ensuring the long-term protection of these priceless artifacts from random thieves. An Garda Síochána were quite lucky in this instance that the thieves had hidden the shrine in a bogland area & the Gardai were simply able to track their mobile phone movements to recover the item. They're not gonna be so lucky every time something like this goes missing unless of course these relics maybe have their own tracking devises hidden within them, isn't the technology outhere to do this already?

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:01 am

The Virgin of Chartres: Making History through Liturgy and the Arts
by Margot E. Fassler
2010 New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 612 pages, $55.00


The Throne of Wisdom
by Stephen Murray

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Each great cathedral gathers around itself a group of amateurs—lovers, really—who take upon themselves the task of interpreting and creating the meanings of the great multi-media work: an architectural envelope that leads us to the sublime; luminous multi-colored images that hang, suspended in the darkness; three-dimensional life-like sculptured figures—originally brightly painted—that provided the “virtual reality” of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and, most important, the living, human, performative dimensions: song, procession, pilgrimage, liturgical performance. In the Middle Ages such liturgical performances provided the interface between the resident body of clergy (bishop and seventy-two canons, plus ancillary personnel at Chartres) and different kinds of lay participant: patron; pilgrim; bourgeois; rustics. Margot Fassler opens her magnificent new book, The Virgin of Chartres, by locating herself and her work within the context of such Chartrephiles (if I may coin the term), past and present; in the pages that follow, she allows us to excavate layer upon layer of stories that have been told about this, the most-beloved cathedral of all. This is the construction of history.

Ecclesiastical institutions in the Middle Ages competed with each other to establish apostolic roots: the cult of saints and the liturgical arts, as well as the writing of chronicles provided the means by which such “histories” might be constructed. The story-tellers of Chartres took the narrative even further back in time with the myth of a pre-Christian female deity served by a community of priests, a Virgin about to bear (paritura). The cult with its pilgrimage was served by a sacred site: a miracle-working well, identified by eighteenth-century antiquarians as the well in the crypt of Chartres Cathedral. Margot Fassler strips away this layer of story-telling, documenting the relatively late origins of the myth in the fourteenth-century Vieille chronique, and its dramatic post-medieval embellishment.

The Marian dedication of Chartres Cathedral can be documented as early as the eighth century. During the episcopacy of Bishop Giselbert (858-879/85) the cathedral received from Emperor Charles the Bald (reg. 840-877) the gift of the great relic—the Virgin’s tunic—that would provide the essential mechanism for so much subsequent history-making. The author passes over this momentous acquisition with very few words: it is certainly true that the full implication of the event was only realized later through subsequent stories about miracles. The most famous early miracle came in 911 when a Viking band, led by Rollo, attempted to capture Chartres: “When suddenly Bishop Walter charged out of the city, robed as if to celebrate Mass, and bearing the cross and the tunic of the Holy Virgin Mary in his hands…” (17). Rollo, discomforted, withdrew and soon afterwards was baptized—Mary of Chartres had engineered his transformation. Fassler provides the reader with a fascinating account of the way this story was told and retold in subsequent writings; similarly, how the myth of the miracle-working well was fabricated and the story of the ignominious death of Bishop Frotbald during a Viking attack was turned into a glorious victory. Such stories were created and recreated in the tenth and eleventh centuries largely through the liturgy: they certainly helped establish the reputation of this city and bolster the status of counts and bishops at a time (the tenth century) of great instability and struggles between the family of the counts of Champagne/Blois (who controlled Chartres) and the Angevins, Capetians, and Anglo-Normans.

Bishop Odo (967-1003) appears to have been the first to systematically promote the Marian cult with the sancta camisa as its focal point—a major incentive was the need to raise money for the reconstruction of the cathedral, which had burned in 962. And it is from the tenth century that we first begin to hear of the sumptuous châsse that contained the chemise and of custom-designed chants like the Hac clara die sequence added to solemnize the cult of the Virgin.

The principal liturgical development of the tenth-to-eleventh centuries was the assembly of a coherent liturgical book on Advent. Advent is about arrival: advents. Originating in the ceremony for the reception of a ruler into his kingdom, a key text was found in Psalm 23: “Lift up your gates, O ye princes and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord, mighty in battle.” The Church transformed the idea and the ceremony to mark the period of the year (four weeks) when the darkest days turned to light announcing the arrival of the Messiah. Margot Fassler repeatedly finds the sources of inspiration for the extraordinary sculptural program of the western portals in the same modes of thought and in ceremonial practices that lay behind the advents ritual as the column figures that populate the portals line up in a ceremony of greeting.

A devastating fire destroyed most of the cathedral on September 7, 1020, the vigil of Mary’s Nativity. The massive work of reconstruction and the continuing development and propagation of the cult of the Virgin went hand in hand during the episcopacy of Bishop Fulbert (1006-1028). New tropes and sequences were added and sermons preached to develop the theme of Mary’s lineage (prophetic and royal) and the story of her life. Bishop Fulbert’s preaching did much to propagate the metaphor of the strips Jesse—the Tree of Jesse—an image that was to enjoy a fabulous later life in Gothic art, while the “Book of the Cult,” attributed to Fulbert, provided a narrative for the life of the Virgin—and inspiration for the famous “capital frieze” that is such an important feature of the portal program of the western frontispiece.

The vibrancy of Fulbert’s episcopacy was later matched by Bishop Ivo (1090-1115). Ivo was a reforming bishop, whose sermons were intended to propagate Christian mysteries to a wide audience: he focused particularly on the story of Mary, seeing the Virgin’s tunic as a metaphor for the entire Church. Like Bernard of Clairvaux, he found inspiration in the Song of Songs.



In 1134 just before the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary when the town blazed with the light of candles, another fire damaged the cathedral. Margot Fassler links the work of reconstructing the western frontispiece with its three portals squeezed tightly together between two towers, with the endowment of choral offices and the production of stained glass windows: critical to her thesis is the notion that portals and glass need to be understood as part of the same program as singing and processions. Particularly important is the way that the ideas developed in liturgy and preaching from Bishops Odo to Ivo found expression in the portal program, which is a vast speculation upon time, especially focussing upon Advent. The passage from Old to New is marked by the emphatic horizontal line of capitals that bring the story of the Virgin and the Nativity and Passion of Christ into present time. The figures lining the portals: kings, queens, prophets, and priests form part of the Old and belong to the lineage of Mary. The three tympana provide glimpses of the New and the yet-to-be. Particularly important is the presence of the Virgin Mary on the right (southern) tympanum as the Throne of Wisdom: the Wisdom of Solomon has been transformed into a new Logos with the incarnation of Christ. The Virgin’s body is the new Temple that is the Church, to be reunited with Christ at the end of time.

There is little not to like about this book. It tends at times to be repetitive and could have been a little shorter. This reviewer, an art historian, would have liked a more systematic description and visual documentation of the portals and windows. We may retain some skepticism about the extent that the non-clerical user of the building would actually be able to “see and understand” all, as the author suggests.

But, finally, The Virgin of Chartres is, I believe, destined to find its place amongst the classic works on the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages. It appears at a time when much of the work of many of the scholars of a previous generation who attempted to unscramble the meanings of the great church has been questioned: I think of the writings of Otto von Simson, Erwin Panofsky, and Emile Mâle. Scholarship of the past three decades has sought to establish new ways to unlock the meaning of the cathedral. This book, with its sweeping historical overview coupled with detailed analysis and transcriptions of the liturgical sources and investigation of the images, sets a new standard of excellence.
Stephen Murray, PhD, was educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He has been teaching Art History at Columbia University since 1986. His publications include books on the cathedrals at Amiens, Beauvais, and Troyes; his current work is on medieval sermons, story-telling in Gothic, and the Romanesque architecture of the Bourbonnais.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:17 pm

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture, n. 21, 2012

Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art

by Slobodan Ćurčić and Evangelia Hadjitryphonos
2010 Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 356 pages, $48.00



A Window to Heaven
by Christ J. Kamages


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Architecture as Icon is a catalogue of a joint exhibit presented at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, Greece and Princeton University Art Museum. Editors Ćurčić and Hadjitryphonos served as curators of the exhibit, culling artifacts from museums in Europe and the United States. This book and its related exhibit occurs in the recent epiphany of interest in the Art and Architecture of Byzantium, despite Gibbons’ portrayal in the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, in which the era with the largest time period was portrayed with minor and diminutive attention. Recent major exhibits such the Icons of Sinai at the Getty, The Glory of Byzantium at the Metropolitan in New York, and Holy Image, Holy Space: Frescoes and Icons from Greece at the Walters Museum in Baltimore are emblematic of this new interest in the Byzantine era.

This project intends to revisit the importance of the elements of architecture and space in Byzantine icons and other representations rather than the focusing only on the holy figures in conventional scholarship. The book is a soft-bound but thick volume, divided into two parts, with the first comprised of a series of essays by the editors and additional contributors, and the second representing the catalogue of the Byzantine pieces. The items, including panel icons, models, liturgical ware, reliquaries, coins, and jewelry, were selected for their common incorporation into a built environment.

The first chapter written by Ćurčić sets up the framework for the book, affirming the recent surging interest in Byzantine art by western scholars, and outlining the divergent developments of western and eastern representation and understanding of space. He reminds us, “for Westerners, art was a means of representing reality and at times even bettering it, while for Byzantines, art was never an end in itself, but a facilitator of access to the spiritual world, the indescribable, non-containable universe of the divine spirit” (7). An icon is not merely a picture or representation, but a window and a bridge to a spiritual reality. The essay goes on to present examples from the collection which illuminate a certain aspect of the icon, including a reliquary in the form of a Serbian monastery closed during Ottoman rule, which peasants used for prayer and adoration when not allowed to enter the church. Ćurčić also presents a very interesting and potent counterpoint between Masaccio’s Holy Trinity fresco, with its important one-point perspective, and a Russian icon of the Crucifixion. While the two pieces depict the same subject in a similar composition, Masaccio’s use of perspective draws the viewer into the space, which is divided into earthly and heavenly zones of cube and dome, with Christ mediating. The Russian icon places the Crucifixion in front of a planar wall of Jerusalem, providing a symbolic kind of division and an overall sense of infinite, uncontained space. Next he briefly describes the typical iconostasis of an Eastern church as an unfolded, condensed church building serving as an interface between the altar and the congregation, with examples such as panel icons which appear to be an unfolded map of a church interior, organizing the myriad saints and prophets in two dimensions.

Additional essays explore a range of interrelated topics―symbolic interpretations of Early Christian architecture, with renderings of church architecture from mosaics of the period, and the idea of space in Byzantine thought, naturally taking the Trinitarian form of “earth, heaven, and beyond heaven,” corresponding to the three parts of the church―narthex, nave, and sanctuary. The fourth chapter explores the previously unstudied practice of architectural drawing and model making in Byzantium. Ancient orthogonal drawings and scale models had been known of in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, but continuous use could only be speculated. Sketches from Giuliano da Sangallo, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, and Villard de Honnecourt are contrasted with a nineteenth-century builder’s sketch for a house in Athens, which to modern western eyes appears unrealistic or cubist, but demonstrates a different understanding of the organization of space and elements, and relies on the concept of time as an element in the experience of the building and the drawing.

Image

Justinian and Constantine offering Church and City to Theotokos, above the south entrance at Hagia Sophia

The second half of the book contains the catalogue of artifacts, including a polycandelon in the form of a church with the exterior and interior synthesized, thirteen-century stone models of church forms, architectural censers, and many icons which incorporate an architectural motif or structure, whether it be a single element such as a tower or saint’s shrine, or an overall organization of figures representing a church or a city. The catalogue is grouped into themes, from Generic Representations, Specific Representations, Symbolic Representations, finally culminating in Jerusalem, orienting the entire book towards that holy city and its liturgical meaning. It is in this section that we find the cover image of the book, the icon illustrating the Hymn to the Virgin, “In Thee Rejoiceth…” This Russian icon from the sixteenth-century served as a guide to the hymn within the liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, giving visual form to the priest’s silent prayers to all the ranks of saints. The base of the icon is a band of martyrs, saints, and bishops, looking up toward the central enthroned Virgin Mary with Christ Child, who are surrounded by the archangels in front of a multi-domed church and paradisiacal palm trees. The image and its accompanying hymn intend to lift prayers from the earthly realm to the heavenly realm, transcending finite space and directing the sung hymn to she who is “wider than the heavens.” The icon, often thought of as a devotional tool, unites private prayer, liturgy, music, painted image, and architecture.

In Orthodox theology the icon is “a window to heaven.” Architecture as Icon offers a provocative theme that projects the transformative nature of Byzantine architecture, as witnessed and documented by Vladimir’s emissaries of Kiev in 988 AD, one of the greatest evangelical conversions in history, where it was proclaimed, “We did not know whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendor or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it.”


Christ J. Kamages, AIA is the principal of CJK Design Group in San Raphael, CA. A graduate of the Boston Architectural Center and SUNY at Buffalo, Christ has been designing Orthodox churches for forty years and was inducted as an Archon Architekton by Patriarch Bartholomew in the year 2000. cjkamages@cjkdesign.com
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:25 pm

Living Stone: The Beauty of the Liturgical Altar

by Randy L. Stice, appearing in Volume 21 Journal of Sacred Architecture

You are beauty...You are beauty! exclaimed St. Francis of Assisi of God.1 God who is beauty is also Being, the source and sustainer of all that is (cf. Col 1:16-17). Beauty, then, is a category of being, and all beauty participates to some degree in the beauty of God, as the Second Vatican Council taught: “Of their nature the arts are directed toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works made by human hands.”2 Since beauty is a category of being, in determining the beauty of something one must first know its essential nature. Jacques Maritain called this its “ontological secret,” which he defined as its “innermost being” and “spiritual essence.”3 The ontological secret of things is “the invisible spiritual reality of their being as objects of understanding.”4

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy offers the key to the ontological secret of things used in the sacred liturgy: “all things set apart for use in divine worship should be worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of things supernatural.”5 This is their ontological secret—they are “signs and symbols of things supernatural.” For this reason, the ultimate goal is “noble beauty rather than sumptuous display.”6 Thus, in order to judge the beauty of the liturgical altar, we must determine how it is a sign and symbol of supernatural realities, which in turn requires that we first determine this for the church building.

Before we consider the question of ontology, however, we first need to outline our aesthetic methodology. For this we will turn to Saint Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas taught that beautiful things possess three qualities: integritas, consonantia, and claritas. Integritas refers to completeness and perfection—nothing essential is lacking, nothing extraneous is present. Consonantia is the quality of proportionality in relation to an end, “the goal that God had in mind for it.”7 Claritas, the third element, is the power of an object to reveal its ontological reality. Umberto Eco describes it as “the fundamental communicability of form, which is made actual in relation to someone’s looking at or seeing of the object. The rationality that belongs to every form is the ‘light’ which manifests itself to aesthetic seeing.”8 Something that is truly beautiful has all of its constituent elements (integrates), is proportional to its ultimate purpose (consonantia), and manifests its essential reality (clarets).

In his discussion of consonant, Eco also describes the important relationship of different but interconnected things, forming what he calls “a dense network of relations….In fact we are free to consider the relation of three, four, or an infinity of things, proportionate among themselves and proportioned also in respect of some unifying whole.”9 “In brief, what is involved is a twofold relation of parts to one another and to the whole of which they are parts.”10 Applied to a church building and its furnishings, this describes a multitude of relations: sanctuary to nave, altar to sanctuary, altar to tabernacle, ambo to presider’s chair, and so on.

Having established our methodology, we can now turn to the question of the ontological secret of the church building and the altar. The ontology of the church building is derived from the ontology of the Church. Lumen Gentium described the Church in the following words:


This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which dwells His family; household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This Temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Holy Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.11

Notice how this passage moves from the nature of the Church to the nature of the church building, from biblical images descriptive of God’s dwelling with his people to “places of worship built out of stone” that are“compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.12 Ontologically, then, the church building is an image of the Temple, and the Holy City, an image of the New Jerusalem described in the Book of Revelation.

The central figure in the New Jerusalem is the Lamb (cf. Rev 21:22-23; 22:1, 3), which provides the context for the ontology of the liturgical altar. It is a symbol of Christ, the center of the thanksgiving made present through the Eucharist, the altar of sacrifice, and “the table of the Lord.”13 First and foremost, the altar is a symbol of Christ, as St. Ambrose asserted in the fourth century: “The altar represents the body [of Christ] and the Body of Christ is the altar.”14 The Catechism summarizes this important symbolism: “the Christian altar is the symbol of Christ himself, present in the midst of the assembly of his faithful, both as the victim offered for our reconciliation and as food from heaven who is giving himself to us.”15

Image

Church as Heavenly City mosaic, Santa Prassede, Rome (Photo: Father Lawrence OP).

If the altar is the symbol of Christ, then it must perforce also be “the center of the assembly, to which the greatest reverence is due.”16 The General Instruction reaffirms this teaching of Eucharisticum Mysterium, describing it as “the center of the thanksgiving that is accomplished through the Eucharist.”17 Third, the altar is “the place at which the saving mysteries are carried out,” the altar of sacrifice.18 It is the place, says the GIRM: “on which is effected the Sacrifice of the Cross made present under sacramental signs.”19 Fourth, it is the table of the sacrificial meal, “the table of the Lord to which the People of God is convoked to participate in the Mass.”20 Drawing together the last two aspects, the Catechism says, “The altar, around which the Church is gathered in the celebration of the Eucharist, represents the two aspects of the same mystery: the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord.”21 An altar that “worthily and beautifully serve[s] the dignity of worship”22 will reveal this fourfold ontology.

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Main altar at the Basilica of Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO (Photo: Jeff Geerling).

Although Church documents do not use Aquinas’ terminology, they do show an implicit awareness of his three elements. In discussing the specifications of the altar, the Church documents address several elements of its integrates, its wholeness or completeness. The GIRM refers to the centrality of the altar: “the altar should occupy a place where it is truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns.”23 Built of Living Stones makes reference to two other elements, the altar of sacrifice and the table of the sacrificial meal: “The shape and size should reflect the nature of the altar as the place of sacrifice and the table around which Christ gathers the community to nourish them.”24 Each of these passages is addressing what Aquinas termed integrates.

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St. Michael’s Church, Creeslough, Ireland (Photo: Steve Cadman).

The concept of consonantia, proportionality to an end, is also referred to in ecclesial documents. The Introduction to the Order of the Mass states that the altar’s “size and proportions should be appropriate to the normal Sunday Eucharistic celebration, and it should be able to accommodate the patens, ciboria, and chalices for the Communion of the faithful.”25 Consonantia as “a dense network of relations”26 is also implied. Take for example the exhortation in Eucharisticum Mysterium: “Pastors must realize that the way the church is arranged greatly contributes to a worthy celebration and to the active participation of the people.”27 This is echoed by Built of Living Stones:




In considering the dimensions of the altar, parishes will also want to insure that the other major furnishings in the sanctuary are in harmony and proportion to the altar….Impact and focal quality are not only related to placement, size, or shape, but also especially to the quality of the altar’s design and worthiness of its construction. The altar should be centrally located in the sanctuary and the center of attention in the church.28

An altar possessing consonantia will be appropriate to its liturgical function and harmonious with the other sacred furnishings.

[img]http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/images/uploads/IMG_3979.jpg[/url]

Main altar at the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Philadelphia, PA (Photo: parkwaymuseumdistrictphiladelphia.org).

Aquinas’ third element, claritas, refers to the power of an object to reveal its ontological reality. Something may possess consonantia and integrates, but if these are not perceivable then it will not be beautiful. This is what the GIRM is saying when it specifies that “the nature and beauty of the place and all its furnishings should foster devotion and express visually the holiness of the mysteries celebrated there.”29 According to Eucharisticum Mysterium, the altar should be “so placed and constructed that it is always seen to be the sign of Christ himself.”30 A key aspect of the altar as a symbol of Christ is a fixed stone altar. The GIRM urges “a fixed altar in every church, since it more clearly and permanently signifies Christ Jesus, the living stone (1 Pt. 2:4; cf. Eph 2:20).”31 Although in the United States altars made from wood are permitted32, an altar “with a table or mensa made of natural stone” will strengthen the claritas of the altar, “since it represents Christ Jesus, the Living Stone (1 Pt 2:4).”33 As these references make clear, the altar must clearly show forth its ontological reality.

Beautiful things reveal most easily and completely their ontological reality and convey the attractive power of the Truth. The beauty of a church building will reflect its ontology as the Temple and New Jerusalem and a beautiful altar will manifest its reality as the image of Christ himself, the altar of sacrifice, the table of the heavenly banquet, and the table of thanksgiving. Saint Thomas Aquinas’ three constituent elements of beauty—integritas, consonantia, and claritas—provide a useful methodology for ensuring that all things destined for the sacred liturgy are worthy, beautiful and able to turn men’s minds devoutly toward God. Fidelity to ontological realities will produce a church building that is “a vehicle for carrying the presence of the Transcendent One”34 in which “every altar…from the greatest to the least, is lit from that golden altar in heaven [Rev 8:3], and becomes its replica on earth, the representation of Our Lord Himself.”35


Father Randy Stice is a priest of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN, where he serves as the Director of the Office of Worship and Liturgy, the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, and Associate Pastor of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He holds an STL in Systematic Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and an MA in Liturgy from The Liturgical Institute.


1. John Paul II, Letter to Artists, n. 6.
2. Second Vatican Council, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing, 1996, n. 122. Henceforth SC. Italics added.
3. Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism with Other Essays, trans. J. F. Scanlan (North Stratford, NH: Ayer Coompany Publishers, 1930), 20.
4. Denis McNamara, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy (Mundelein, IL: Hillenbrand Books, 2009), 22.
5. SC, 122.
6. Ibid., art. 124.
7. McNamara, 26.
8. Umberto Eco, The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas, trans. Steven Hugh Bredin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), 119. Italics original.
9. Ibid., 89.
10. Ibid., 90.
11. Second Vatican Council, “Lumen Gentium,” in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing, 1996), art. 6. Henceforth, LG.
12. Ibid.
13. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 1383. Henceforth CCC.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid.
16. Second Vatican Council, “Eucharisticum Mysterium, ” in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing, 1996), art. 24. Henceforth, EM.
17. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 296. Henceforth GIRM.
18. EM, 24.
19. GIRM, 296.
20. GIRM, 296.
21. CCC, 1383.
22. SC, art. 122.
23. GIRM, 299. Italics added.
24. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2000), art.58. Henceforth BLS. Italics added.
25. Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, Introduction to the Order of Mass (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2003), art. 52. Henceforth ITTOM.
26. Eco, 119.
27. EM, 24. Italics added.
28. BLS, art. 58. Italics added.
29. GIRM, 294. Italics added.
30. EM, 24. Italics added.
31. GIRM, art. 298.
32. GIRM, 301.
33. BLS, art. 57. Italics added. See also GIRM, no. 298 and RDCA, art. 9
34. Evdokimov, 147.
35. Geoffrey Webb, The Liturgical Altar (Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1949): 100.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:10 pm

From the journal of Sacred Architecture

Ritual Space Liberated from Tradition
by Lisa Austin

Holy Ground: Re-inventing Ritual Space in Modern Western Culture

by Paul Post and Arie L. Molendijk
2012 Leuven: Peeters, 318 pages, $80.00

Rituals evolve over time. Recently, a California funeral home offered mourners the option of staying in their car while paying their respects. Holy Ground does not address “drive-thru visitation” but discusses ritual space through a contemporary social-cultural lens. Arie L. Molendijk examines scholarly views of the “holy” and “sacred” and Paul Post offers an examination of spatial-ritual-religious analytical models. Eight other authors consider rituals, shrines, memorials, and spaces of contemplation.

The “sacred” exists in opposition to the everyday, the profane. “Holy ground” and “ritual space” are specific locations where limited sets of symbolic actions occur. But, as Judith Tonnaer says, today people “actively exhibit signs of their mourning” by creating “fluid, flexible and mobile” rituals. Eric Venbrux describes the “ritual communication” of throwing coins into water as a symbolic attachment to a place. Can any place become sacred? Irene Stengs suggests that the two million who watched the “farewell ceremony” for Theo van Gogh on television were located in temporary “ritualized spaces.” If Jane Doe is watching a funeral while resting from home, is her bedroom a “ritualized space?” Folks who attend funerals can doze off too, but they are not wearing pajamas.

Stengs reports that after the death of a popular singer, many memorial events were held: a concert in a stadium with coffin arriving by hearse; cremated ashes rocketed into the North Sea; tattooing of loved ones with ashes. A six-part TV mini-series followed. Memorials always involve economic, social, and political influences; but contemporary events are created in a media hothouse. Perhaps our western mourning rituals are only as genuine as the tears for Kim Jong Il.

Several writers address church architecture. Justin E. A. Krosen discussed the Netherlands’ “financially burdensome” churches and reported that even atheists view some re-use options as sacrilegious. Woulter E. A. van Beek writes about Mormon architecture and the Zoetermeer Temple in the Netherlands. If you visit Washington, D.C., take a drive on the Capitol Beltway and watch for the Wizard of Oz-like palace that once inspired this spray-painted message on a nearby overpass: “Surrender Dorothy.” The Washington Temple’s dramatic façade promises a wild interior volume, but when I attended an open house, the windowless conference rooms disappointed. Mormon temples are designed to maximize spaces for meetings; and by limiting access to upper floors, van Beek says that Mormons create a “sacred hierarchy.”

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Mormon Temple in Washington, DC (Photo: Joe Ravi)

In contrast, the Tor Tre Teste Jubilee Church in Rome was designed with spatial intentionality. Paul Post’s photographs show huge curving walls creating movement reminiscent of an airport terminal. Minus pews and crucifix, the interior functions as a non-denominational place of reflection. Post notes that the sacred was once viewed as being “fundamentally experienced in spatial terms...” and that rituals were “always connected with a place.” Now, Post reports, “events, not buildings” are primary in “assigning meaning” and “Christian worship is not tied to a definite place.” But folks still want their churches! Lizette Larson-Miller documented the painful process of unifying varied cultural expectations to join four parishes in Oakland, California. As churches are shuttered, Jorien Holsappel-Brons discusses the increasing numbers of “rooms of silence” in hospitals, airports, and even shopping malls.

Kenneth Foote says spontaneous shrines are creating sacred space with increasing speed for a wider range of events involving more “voices.” While memorial planning can be a cathartic process for wounded communities, I must note that design by committee and jurying by “stakeholders” can result in conceptually vague examples of “Hallmark-card minimalism” and pedantically literal monuments. In contrast, Maya Lin’s masterful Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial was selected by a jury of elites (architects, landscape architects, and sculptors) in a competition organized by an architect, Paul D. Spreiregen.

Many authors of Holy Ground view both ritual and the sacred as liberated from religion and tradition. While coin tossing, tattoos, tree plantings, concerts, and marches may offer comfort; they seem a thin substitute for traditional rituals. Other than discussion of the Jubilee Church, Holy Ground omits consideration of the aesthetic-architectural-spatial context that grounds much ritual, and is silent on contested spaces. Despite these omissions readers interested in rituals and ritualized spaces will find Holy Ground a source of valuable information on scholarly discussions of contemporary sacred space.

Artist Lisa Austin collaborates with landscape architects, and others engaged with urban space, on social sculpture projects, public art and memorials; she reached three-dimensional design and sculpture at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. lisa@lisaaustinpa.com
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:17 pm

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture, no 20


An Architectural and Theological Interface
THE DOMINICAN COMPLEX AT MAGNANAPOLI

by Christopher Longhurst, appearing in Volume 20

[18]

The Dominican Complex at Magnanapoli, Rome, is an architectural composite from the mid sixteenth century in the heart of the ancient city currently housing the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, along with the adjacent monastery, convent and adjoining gardens, and the church of Saints Dominic and Sixtus. Looking purposefully at the Magnanapoli complex and recognizing within it the spiritual impetus of architecture in light of the Thomistic aesthetic theory will demonstrate how architecture can provide a simultaneously theological and aesthetic reading. It will also demonstrate how sound architectural development and organization is, in essence, always inspired by the desire to find a solution to the most important questions of purpose and fulfillment in life.

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Santi Domenico e Sisto, Rome, part of the Angelicum complex (Photo: eng.archinform.net)

The Aesthetic Theory of St. Thomas Aquinas

In the thought of St. Thomas it seems that beauty is primarily a transcendental quality, that is, there must be a metaphysical ground for its existence. St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica expounds his definition of beauty in an expression that has become the essence of his aesthetic theory: “Ad pulchritudinem tria requiruntur: Primo quidem integritas sive perfectio: quae enim diminuta sunt, hoc ipso turpia sunt. Et debita proportio sive consonantia. Et iterum claritas.” 1 These three properties—integrity, due proportion, and clarity—are therefore the qualities that make an object beautiful. St. Thomas explicates, however, that he is not referring to mere abstractions, or what is known simply on the conceptual level, or disconnected from experience, but rather to the physical world around him and to his empirical experience in and of that world. St. Thomas’ beauty, therefore, does not exist by any theoretical means only. It is a quality of being that is transcendent yet it pertains to things in the world, to created things.

One of the key concepts in his aesthetic theory is the idea of form. St. Thomas explains that the form of an object is in fact its beauty—that which “properly belongs to the nature of a formal cause.”2 In the mind of St. Thomas form also is not something static or crystallized but rather coextensive with being. It is the structural principle in things and when it is experienced on account of the subsisting properties of integrity, due proportion and clarity, then the object is said to be beautiful.

Despite such an over-simplification of St. Thomas’ aesthetic theory it suffices to say that the beauty of any existent thing is based on the vital reality of its form. In architecture, according to this theory, the beauty of a building, or composite of buildings, is determined by the complete realization of what the work should be—the proper organization of material, a correspondence among all its parts, and the consequent splendor formae (splendor of form)—as St. Thomas would call it.3 The Magnanapoli site is an ideal example of architectural beauty according to Thomistic system of ideas because it presents an array of architectural elements, planning, design and construction processes and results that all contribute to the complex’s overall splendor formae.

The Architectural Type of the Ordinis Praedicatorum

Before looking at the Magnanapoli complex in detail it is worth considering the particular conception of beauty that characterizes Dominican architecture in general. During its foundational years in the early thirteenth century, the Order of St. Dominic took strict measures to avoid anything suggestive of luxury or affluence in its buildings. In the Order’s churches a distinct seminal feature of the Dominican style resulted from the friar’s own sumptuary legislation which originally excluded decorative architectural works except for in the choir. This architectural austerity, which often went as far as the suppression of capitals on columns and panels under windows, gave great lightness and elegance to the new style of Dominican churches.

[19]

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Santa Anastasia, Verona, has side altars at the walls of the nave. (Photo: David Carillo)

Dominican architecture also acquired its distinction from the aspirations of the members’ foundational communities who turned away from the cloistered regula of early monasticism and embarked upon a more active apostolate of preaching and parochial work. Their verve thus extended outside the monastic center and impacted the social and urban currents of its time. The Dominican style of building came to reflect the community’s socio-religious ideals and fundamental values. Subsequently, on account of the Dominicans’ active apostolate and establishment in large urban areas, a practice that significantly influenced the cultural milieu of the time, and also on account of the rise of churches and convents known as opus sumptuosum, the Dominican attitude towards suppressing richness of expression in its architectural designs subsided. In the chief towns throughout Italy, by the end of the thirteenth century the Dominicans were in possession of the most splendid religious buildings, magnificent monasteries and some of the finest churches with exquisite artworks. This was undoubtedly a consequence of the Order’s increasing importance in the socio-political arena at the time. In point of fact, in the past as in the present-day the Dominicans have occupied some of the finest and most important church buildings and religious spaces across the world.

The Dominicans projected their apostolic zeal and theological erudition into transforming buildings in their possession into structures to accommodate serious scholarship and even to inspire, thereby creating a fusion of aesthetic qualities and religious ideals in a certain architectural type. Such a practice was typical of the Dominicans in general throughout the course of their history. They adopted various styles of architecture and assisted in their diffusion and assimilation for new means and ends. The Order even accepted the style of the Renaissance when it had supplanted the medieval forms and incorporated it into its own. Every architectural medium capable of giving expression to religious beauty was used by the Dominicans to further the ends and needs of their apostolate, for the motto of the Dominican Order is Veritas and as their Angelic Doctor explains, truth and beauty are exchangeable and analogous terms.4 Aspects of the Dominican apostolate, which is characterized by dedication to preaching, the study of theology, the safeguarding of Christian doctrine, and the profession of total fidelity to tradition, conjure a conviction that is concretely expressed in the abstract values of truthfulness, beauty, apostolicity, magnificence, splendor and love. These values become tangible in the physical manifestations of unity, spatial economy, order, grandiosity, practicality, hospitality and even solemn ceremony in the liturgical expression of the Dominican Rite.

Dominican architecture may be described as theocentric, contemplative, monastic and didactic. The last two qualities set it apart from the architecture of almost any other kind as Dominican architecture has a strong overtone of “educational space” befitting rigorous scholarship in the context of a spiritual environment. This scholastic quality is the essence of the Order’s charism and it is reflected in the arrangement of its architectural structures as conducive to serious research, learning and teaching. On account of the Order’s emphasis on study, practical elements such as large windows in the buildings’ spacious study halls allow for more light to enter and to accommodate the contemplative aspect of its apostolate, wide hallways were built to create an atmosphere conducive to prayer and silence. In general Dominican churches have large naves because of the importance of public preaching, and oftentimes they are without side aisles. Lateral altars were usually at the walls of the nave instead of in chapels. The church of Santa Anastasia in Verona is a prime example.

One of the most innovative aspects of Dominican architecture was the orientation of the buildings towards the exterior by means of façades, porticoes, staircases and fountains. A greater involvement in the life of its urban surroundings evolved. Extended to all of its building designs, this architectural dynamic has produced an expression of the ideals of Dominican religious life and has gone on to assume its own unique style, which may be called the architectural type of the Ordinis Praedicatorum. Its prototype is recognizable in the Dominican complex at Magnanapoli, Rome.

The Dominican Complex at Magnanapoli Rome

It is no coincidence that Blessed Pope John Paul II writes in his Letter to Artists: “[…] where theology produced the Summa of Saint Thomas, church art molded matter in a way which led to adoration of the mystery.”5 Conforming to the principal idea of categorization of St. Thomas’ theological discourse on God, man and nature, the Magnanapoli complex is an architectural manifestation of the Thomistic system of ideas by extension of those same categories into its external architectural designs. In the words of the Pope: “the functional is always wedded to the creative impulse inspired by a sense of the beautiful and an intuition of the mystery.”6 The architectural arrangement of the Magnanapoli complex is therefore designed towards creating a single environment conducive to both religious life through prayer and community, and to academic scholarship through study and education. The two modes of human activity―to praise God and love Him and each other in the spirit of Christian charity, and to know God and understand Him through the truths of the Christian faith―are characteristics of one spirit. To achieve these goals in architecture the Magnanapoli complex is unified, in proportion, and above all directional, that is, it has purpose: making space holy—building to uplift the mind and the heart to spiritual matters.

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Courtyard of the Magnanapoli complex

Like the scope of both the Order’s theological purpose and academic goals, the architecture of this complex does not conform to any one particular age or style but rather unites the legitimate styles of its respective ages into a comprehensive whole. On account of the Dominican friars’ capacity to unify diverse architectural designs to supplement religious ends and ideals, the complex comprises an interplay of architectural morphemes that combine into more inclusive forms. While the Magnanapoli complex can be used for a variety of purposes such as communal living, religious formation, and educational development, the unified composite surpasses each one of these purposes. It thus expresses a correlation in time and space of the physical, intellectual and spiritual strengths of what it means to be fully human. One may describe it as a microcosm of the civitatis Dei—the peaceful dwelling place of all believers.

The Magnanapoli complex also achieves its purpose by a harmonious relationship with the natural surroundings of its physical environs. It conforms architecture to nature by taking nature as its inspiration, or rather, as its solution to the complexity of its building projects. In nature the Dominicans find the answers to life in general and from a translation of the language of nature they find value in architectural designs. In fact the emulation of nature is the goal of Dominican architecture, for from nature is taken the material and from nature is learned the systems, processes and aesthetics by which the buildings are integrated to create a sound and healthy environment. Nature reveals an underlying order and the entire aesthetic theory of St. Thomas is said to be based on the principles of nature which display an ordered hierarchy of structures. In architecture, as the Dominican architectural typology displays, this order is combined with functional properties and aesthetic expressions, a kind of reliance on self-assembly, fitting form to function.

The architecture of the Magnanapoli complex not only reveals the character of a spiritual force, it also elicits a reaction to this force. Prescinding from St. Thomas’ system of ideas, the complex demonstrates how the human intellect perceives the attributes of form, in this case an architectural composite, which satisfies the senses upon being seen due to its inherent properties of integrity, due proportion and clarity constituting the splendor formae contained within. The faculties of the human mind then sense the quality of these properties and the observer is drawn into the space by the beauty of the integral structure. This process is achieved by the aesthetic appeal of the building being appreciated upon being perceived and its image impressed upon the external sensory receptors of the observer. The properties intuited by the mind then arouse visual appreciation that is passed to the interior intellectual senses. The observer subsequently enjoys their reception in the internal sensory faculties and this is why the human spirit finds itself simultaneously at peace and inspired in such a space.

The entire environment becomes fully enjoyable, and one in which thought, feeling, and the transcendence of the human spirit is expressed. Thus St. Thomas’s definition of beauty as “pulchra dicuntur quae visa placent” is fulfilled. This experience approaches a movement which is both natural and supernatural. An emergent and interconnected encounter between material and nonmaterial properties is experienced. Moreover, given the unifying characteristics of this Magnanapoli complex, it is no surprise that one feels at peace in this environment for peace is “the tranquility of order” as St. Augustine expressed.

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Arcade at the courtyard of the Angelicum (Photo: athomeinromewithmonicastiles.blogspot.com

The Dominican complex at Magnanapoli is also an example of the splendor veri in architecture. Splendor veri is a platonic term referring to the relational qualities among material things. It was revisited by the Schoolmen and upheld by St. Thomas in his goal of presenting a methodology to consider the relationships among all things, however, primarily between form and matter on the one hand, and idea and truth on the other. In relation to the Magnanapoli complex, beyond the exterior appearances of its buildings the concepts of truth and beauty united with knowledge and space are brought together through an intimate association between architecture and theology. Behind its walls these two disciplines transcend the rational confines of the human mind penetrating to the sensitive and emotional appetites of the human soul. A spiritual and material communication is achieved through the converging and interacting of architecture and theology, an experiencing of how both depend substantially on the deeper meanings of a reality envisioned in and above the material limitations of physical space and the immaterial limitations of the human mind. The Magnanapoli complex thus possesses the conditions of beauty that make it attract the observer when attention is concentrated on the complex’s formal structure. The architecture itself does not “create” this beauty, for the objective conditions of beauty really only subsist in things, though it is reasonable to confirm that it manifests beauty on account of the equilibrium between a formal perfection and the intellect’s apprehension of its physical forms.

[21]

The undergirding theological impetus of the architecture is founded in a mind-based knowledge of God, a rationalistic logic, and in the human person “ad imaginem Dei” as the center of human existence. This impresses upon the physical surroundings the criterion for a religious ideal, incorporating into the environs the architectural homogeneity of form and matter where the characteristics of order and unity dominate over variety. It thereby offers a source of architectural wealth and organization that is relevant in the context of a religious vision.

Scholastic and monastic activity are so well unified in a reciprocal relationship of studying and learning on the one hand and sanctification and preaching on the other, that one does not exist without the other. In this harmony a material, intellectual and spiritual formation unfolds, exposing an insightful occupation with the notions of beauty, order, unity and integrity. In the architecture, beauty is experienced in the congruency of buildings and their parts, and through the perception of order and unity, while in the theology beauty is seen through the radiance of the truth on its subject matter. In both contexts, unity is upheld in the cohesion of the relational quality of practical and theoretical contexts, that is, in the form and matter, while integrity is maintained through the uncompromising adherence of each discipline to the values of their respective canons. Each of these properties—beauty, order, unity and integrity, become inseparable and, while remaining interdependent, form unique manifestations of the dynamism of one spirit.

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Aerial view of the Magnanapoli buildings and gardens (Photo: bing.com)

The Magnanapoli complex thus serves as a prototype to respond to questions about the spiritual vitality of architecture, and to understand architecture’s structural methods as a model for, or conformity with, sound theological principles. It is the ideal form of architecture functioning for theological purposes and of theology providing the language for the structural design of its buildings; thereby it affords a profoundly religious and architectural interface. What can be seen here is how architecture “lives” in a religious body and how its religious message is incarnate in masonry. As such, the Magnanapoli complex is an example of an encounter between the science of theology and the art of architecture, and a theological ideal inspiring an architectural design. This is the embodiment of the Dominican ideal of truth and beauty simultaneously identifying the one subject.

The integral structure, from the potency of its architectural forms to the dynamism of its pedagogical and religious functions, inspires not only those who live within its walls and the students who partake of the instruction afforded by its professors, but even the ordinary passer-by who has the opportunity to see the beauty of its buildings with magnificent panoramas, or walk within its halls and gardens. The grandness of scale, the harmony of layout, the attractiveness of the grounds, and the overall sense of relational order, with an integration of the visible and invisible, the spiritual and material, generate a sense of assimilation into both the natural and supernatural spheres.

Conclusion

Characterized by an emphasis on cohesive unity among variety, the Magnanapoli complex achieves a harmony between form and matter in which they are brought together in spatial relationships and striking sensory effects to contribute in a meaningful way to the overall message of a theological dialogue with contemporary culture. It is a remarkable testimony to how architecture reflects theology and how theology inspires architectural beauty. In the end this complex celebrates the evidence of a tradition and a history of faith that points to the conviction that the human person is a partaker of something grand, engaged, as it were, in a dialogue between creation and the divine, and this dialogue is well seen in an encounter between theology and architecture. The Dominican Complex at Magnanapoli Rome provides that encounter.

Christopher Longhurst, born in New Zealand, received his doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Angelicum University, Rome, with a specialization in theological aesthetics. He was a member of the faculty at the Marymount International School in Rome starting in 2004, and currently writes on the intersections of art and religion and works as a docent at the Papal Galleries at the Vatican Museums.

1 Summa Theologica, I, 39, 8
2 Ibid, I, 5, 4, ad 1
3 Cf. Umberto Eco, The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas, 1988, pp 45, 234
4 Summa Theologica, I, 12, 4
5 John Paul II, Letter to Artists (1999), 8
6 Ibid.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:33 pm

From the City Journal

[size=200]THEODORE DALRYMPLE
Erecting a Tomb to Irish Sovereignty
[/size]

Frank Buckley’s installation embodies Ireland’s financial catastrophe.

27 April 2012

Installations have always seemed the genre best suited for people whose ambition to be an artist is greater than their willingness to acquire the skills necessary to become one. Occasionally, however, clever installations are effective in conveying a message, symbolizing a tragedy, or drawing attention to an absurdity. For example, the reality (and absurdity) of hyperinflation was once beautifully captured for me by a Brazilian artist who strung a yards-long snake of blocks of valueless bank-notes, twisting and turning, across a room, threaded together by a string.

In Dublin, the artist Frank Buckley has constructed the interior walls of his flat with bricks made of shredded, de-commissioned Euro bank notes—with a face value of 1.4 billion Euros—that the Irish mint gave him for this purpose. All the furniture in the flat, including the microwave and the lavatory, is also lined with the shredded notes. He calls the lavatory “the Bertie bowl,” after Bertie Ahern, the now- discredited prime minister who presided over and benefited politically from the Irish property bubble that has indebted the country for decades to come. Buckley experienced Ireland’s economic problems first hand: his house in County Wicklow was repossessed after its value declined to less than he had borrowed to buy it.

Ireland having since been placed more or less under the tutelage of the European Central Bank, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund, Buckley has erected a tomb to Irish sovereignty in one of his flat’s three rooms. Initially intended as a private home—Buckley has praised shredded Euro bank notes for their heat-insulating quality—his flat, literally made of money, soon had so many visitors that he decided to open it as a museum. Robert Ballagh, designer of the last Irish bank notes before the country’s fateful adoption of the common currency, opened the museum with little ceremony, saying that it “asks important questions of us, of the nature of our society, of our obsession with money and property, and how that has brought us to the state we are in.”

Missing from this list of questions is whether the creation of the single currency was a good idea in the first place, and whether, being so flawed in conception, it was not bound to lead to great difficulties if not outright catastrophe—and finally, what its progenitors really thought (or hoped) they were doing.

Theodore Dalrymple is a contributing editor of City Journal, the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of numerous books including Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:34 pm

From the City Journal

CLAIRE BERLINSKI
Can’t Go Back to Constantinople



Istanbul’s history deserves preservation, but at what cost to development?
Anyone who has ever sat in one of Istanbul’s endless traffic jams, listening to a taxi driver blast his horn and curse the son-of-a-donkey unloading a moving van in front of him, will agree that the city’s transportation system leaves much to be desired. City planners meant to solve this problem when they began construction of a $4 billion subway tunnel beneath the Bosporus. Then, to the planners’ horror, the project’s engineers discovered the lost Byzantine port of Theodosius. Known to archaeologists only from ancient texts, the port had been sleeping peacefully since the fourth century AD—directly underneath the site of the proposed main transit station in Yenikapı.

The tunnel-digging halted, entailing untold millions in economic losses, and the artifact-digging began. An army of archaeologists descended upon the pit, working around the clock to preserve the ancient jetties and docks, while Istanbul’s traffic grew yet more snarled. Newspapers reported that Metin Gokcay, the dig’s chief archaeologist, was “rejecting all talk of deadlines.” It’s not difficult to imagine the hand-wringing that those words must have prompted among budget planners.

The planners no doubt considered throwing themselves into the Bosporus when the excavation then unearthed something even better—or worse, depending on your perspective—underneath those remains: 8,000-year-old human clothes, urns, ashes, and utensils. These artifacts stunned historians and forced them to revisit their understanding of the city’s age and origins. The discovery posed a fresh moral problem, too: excavating the top layer might damage the one above it—or vice versa. So the decision was no longer, “Should we conserve these remains?” It was, “Which remains should we conserve?”

The subway project, originally scheduled to be finished in May 2010, is now at least six years behind schedule. The route has been changed 11 times in response to new findings, driving everyone concerned to the brink of madness. The government is desperate to finish the project but well aware that the world is watching. No one wants to be known to future generations as the destroyer of 8,000 years’ worth of civilization.

Decisions like this are made on a smaller scale every day in every neighborhood of Istanbul. Istanbul’s population—by some estimates, as high as 20 million—has more than tripled since 1980, enlarged by decades of migration from Turkey’s poor rural regions. The city desperately needs better roads, subways, and housing. Its infrastructure is archaic, a problem illustrated in 2009 when flash floods gushed across the city’s arterial roads, killing scores. The catastrophe was widely ascribed to inadequate infrastructure, shoddy construction, and poor urban planning.

But building the city’s future will assuredly destroy its past. Thriving human settlements existed here thousands of years before the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. If you look under the ground around Istanbul’s Golden Horn, it’s almost impossible not to find something archaeologically significant. Developers covet these sites today for precisely the geographic features—for example, natural ports—that made them equally desirable long ago. The more economically attractive the location, the more likely it is to have significant remains, and the more likely it is that someone will have an economic motivation to make those remains disappear.

Government-backed developers, for example, were determined to expand the Four Seasons Hotel in Sultanhamet, even though it sat atop relics from the Palatium Magnum built by Emperor Constantine I in the fourth century AD. Dogged local investigative journalism and the threat of international opprobrium put a halt to those plans. On the other side of the Golden Horn, when it became obvious that the construction of the Swiss and the Conrad Hotels in Beşiktaş would destroy significant archaeological artifacts, the local government objected, pointing to Turkey’s laws on historic preservation. The developers went over their heads to Ankara and appealed to the laws on promoting tourism. Parliament decided that Turkey needed foreign direct investment, and the tourism laws prevailed. There was an irony in the decision, of course: Istanbul’s heritage is precisely what attracts tourists. Then again, if there are no hotels, there’s nowhere for tourists to stay.

There is no way to resolve the tension between letting this megacity develop economically and protecting its priceless archaeological treasures. Obviously, you can’t turn an entire city into a museum where no new construction is allowed. According to some archaeologists, that’s exactly what you’d have to do to protect Turkish historic artifacts—leave them all in the ground, untouched, since even careful excavation might destroy them. But Turkey is not a wealthy country. It’s hard to feel morally confident in saying that Turkish citizens need Neolithic hairbrushes more than they need houses, factories, ports, dams, mines, and roads—especially when they’re dying in flash floods.

So something has to be destroyed. But who decides which part of the city’s past is most important? Legally, Turkey’s monument board has the authority to decide what to save: in principle, if more than 60 percent of a neighborhood is more than 100 years old, it cannot be touched without the board’s permission. The board deals daily with a massive number of requests and decisions, but it has neither the time nor the resources to ensure that its decisions are upheld. For example, it reviews all plans for development in sensitive areas. The plans then get sent to municipal government offices for approval—but often, the plans submitted to the board are different from the ones that go to the local government, and the board is none the wiser.

Further, the process of evaluating a preservation claim is often slow and bureaucratic. Sara Nur Yildiz, a historian at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, recalls noticing a distinctive earthen mound at the edge of a construction site in her upscale neighborhood in Cihangir. She suspected immediately that it was an archaeologically significant well. “I told them to stop digging,” she says, “but they ignored me.” She filed a petition with the monument board. Ultimately, the board agreed with her and halted the construction. But by the time the board finished studying the case and relaying its verdict to the workers, half of the structure had been demolished.

In general, Ottoman Empire relics fare better than Byzantine ruins. In the minds of certain officials, the latter sound a bit too much like Greek ruins, which aren’t, after all, part of their history. Archaeologists associated with TAY—the Archaeological Settlements of Turkey Project—have compiled inventories of priceless endangered sites. They report a “persistent and intense threat” to Byzantine remains throughout the city from the construction of roads and modern housing. The Edirnekapı and Topkapı sections of the historic city walls, they lament, vanished during the construction of Adnan Menderes Boulevard and Millet Street. Another problem: there is “almost no coordination,” say archaeologists with TAY, between the government departments charged with preserving cultural heritage and those responsible for public works.

Many academics have worked to draw up conservation plans for the city. So has UNESCO. But they don’t have the power to enforce them. UNESCO, claiming that the Turkish government has disregarded its reports, has threatened to embarrass Istanbul by putting its cultural treasures on its endangered list. But on the historic peninsula, rates of return on investment in development are among the highest in the world—exceeded only by those in Moscow. For developers, the amount of money at stake is phantasmagoric. They’re willing to spend a lot to make legal and political obstacles go away. Archaeologists can’t compete.

So come visit now, while it’s all still here.

Claire Berlinski, a City Journal contributing editor, is an American journalist who lives in Istanbul.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:26 pm

From The Ecclesiologist


Michael Fisher, Hardman of Birmingham: Goldsmith and Glasspainter.
Landmark Publishing,Ashbourne, 2008, 240 pp., full colour throughout,
£25 hdbk, ISBN 978 1843063 62 9


Not many companies remain in existence for over 150 years. Yet
Hardman’s have been around since the 1830s and what makes this
continuity all the more remarkable has been a line of business, rooted in
the Gothic revival and centred on the making of stained glass, that went
into massive decline in the twentieth century. The survival of the firm
has led to the preservation of its vast archives, housed at four locations in
Birmingham, including the present Hardman Studio at Lightwoods
House, the elegant 1790s house on the western fringes of the city that
became home to the firm from 1972. The company is most famously
associated with A.W.N. Pugin, and it is through him that Michael Fisher
– well-known for his excellent studies of Pugin’s work in Staffordshire –
began his heroic exploration of the firm’s work archives in 1999. He is
now archivist to Hardman’s and this book is the fruit of his long and
intensive research.
James and Lucy Hardman, Roman Catholics from Lancashire,moved
to Birmingham in the mid-eighteenth century, attracted by the
burgeoning opportunities the town offered. Their only son John
(1767–1844),who was joined by his son, also John (1811–67), established
a light metalworking business producing items like buttons, buckles and
cheap jewellery.There were many such workshops in Birmingham and
no doubt the Hardman enterprise would have vanished into commercial
oblivion had it not been for Pugin.The Hardmans and Pugin were coreligionists,
and Pugin met and became close friends with John junior in
1837 while furnishing the Oscott seminary, just north of the town.
Pugin’s unstoppable drive enthused the Hardmans to add
ecclesiastical metalwork to their portfolio. From 1838 a combination of
modern manufacturing techniques and Pugin’s exquisite designs was
producing work of the highest quality. To metalwork was added the
provision of vestments and other textile items under the supervision of
Lucy Powell, half-sister of Hardman junior, with the firm becoming,
what Michael Fisher describes as ‘complete church furnishers’.
For stained glass Pugin had worked first with William Warrington,
then Thomas Willement, and then William Wailes. But, Pugin confided
to the younger Hardman,‘I am scheming a stained glass shop – but this
is only between ourselves.’ And this bore fruit in a new venture from
1845 with Pugin supplying all the designs for Hardman’s during the rest
of his brief life. He produced designs in Ramsgate where he was assisted
by Hardman’s teenage nephew John Hardman Powell (1827–95) who
was to marry Pugin’s eldest daughter,Anne, thus sealing the close Pugin-
Hardman connection. It was Powell who, after Pugin’s death, closely
followed his master’s style.
Michael Fisher’s book is especially useful in continuing the Hardman
story beyond the fairly well-known early years. He charts the continued
success of the metalworking and stained glass business after Pugin’s death
under Powell and the input from Pugin’s son Edward Welby (1834–75).
He discusses work for some of major patrons, such as William Burges,
and introduces us to less well-known figures in the firm, such as Joseph
Pippet (1841–1903), whose sons followed him into the company. Fisher
has a chapter on the firm’s secular work and another on memorials and
funeral furnishings. Flourishing at a time when Britain was the
workshop of the world, Hardman’s had an important export trade and
we are shown beautiful and unfamiliar work, especially for the USA. By
the mid-twentieth century business had turned down: the early 1970s
presented an uncertain future and activity was largely confined to stained
glass. Fortunately the firm was purchased by Edgar and Margaret Phillips
in 1974 whose son Neil is now in charge. The fortunes of the business
have been revived, in part thanks to commissions from the Far East, and
metalwork, the original basis of the firm, which has been reintroduced
to the repertoire. Long may Hardman’s thrive.
From the outset Hardman’s business has depended on fine
craftsmanship so it is a great pity that Michael Fisher and the firm have
not been better served by the publisher. In an attempt, no doubt, to
square costs and the modest cover price,we are served up small print and
tiny margins which makes reading an endurance test especially for alltext
pages and their burden of nearly 800 words. Sub-headings would
have helped make the book more usable and reader-friendly. The
pictures are generally very good, if at times on the small side. However,
they are not numbered and so, frustratingly, there is no cross-referencing
between text and pictures. The first paragraph of each chapter is a
perverse bit of design – larger, bold type which makes you think it’s a
summary of what follows but it isn’t. The contents list has the wrong
page numbers after chapter 8 while the index is feeble and, unhelpfully,
has churches (usually but not always) listed under their dedication. Lack
of proof-reading is evident in trivial but sloppy things like the wrong
header on p. 39, big endnote numbers on pp. 33–4, inconsistent
punctuation in the notes and index while one note (5:2) even still has a
note from the author to himself. But at least we now have a detailed
study of this remarkable company and Michael Fisher is to be applauded
for this achievement.
Geoff Brandwood
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:33 pm

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:45 pm

New Directions in Gothic Revival Studies Worldwide
12-15 July 2012
An interdisciplinary conference
celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin 1812-1852


http://www.kent.ac.uk/architecture/goth ... index.html

Welcome to the primary international academic event marking the bicentenary of the birth of
the architect A.W.N. Pugin, which brings the field’s leading scholars worldwide to a broadbased conference at Canterbury. It is also the first conference on the British Gothic Revival’s
international impact that incorporates North America, and the first significant international
conference on the subject since ‘Gothic Revival: religion, architecture and style in Western
Europe’ (Leuven, 1997).
Abstracts and biographical notes of Contributors
ANDERSON, Eric
is Assistant Professor at Kendall College of Art and Design (Michigan, USA), and he has
taught at Columbia University and Parsons School of Design. His research covers modern
design and architecture, and he is currently writing a cultural history of design in the Vienna
Ringstrasse.
Mediaeval Domesticity
Among the many aspects of Gothic design celebrated in the nineteenth century, domesticity is
not the first to come to mind. We think of A.W.N. Pugin’s moral truth, Viollet-le-Duc’s
structural rationalism, or Morris’s guild system of labour. This paper argues, however, that the question of how mediaeval people lived and how mediaeval domestic culture was
reflected in architecture and furnishings was one of central importance to designers and
theorists.
In 1857, the German cultural historian Jakob von Falke argued that the rise of chivalry, with
its emphasis on beauty and grace, had served as a catalyst for transforming gloomy castle
halls into ‘dreamlike’ spaces of ‘shimmering luster’. With the 1871 publication of Die Kunst
im Hause, his pioneering treatise on the modern interior, Falke emerged as a leading voice in
European design reform. At the heart of his theory was the idea, inspired by his research into
the Middle Ages, that the modern home should be a richly decorated environment for
subjective aesthetic experience and emotional escape.
The premise that mediaeval domesticity could shape the modern home was one shared by
Falke’s contemporaries. This paper will explore two additional examples: Viollet-le-Duc’s
1858 Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier, with its evocative images accompanying a lengthy
text on the mediaeval ‘vie privée’; and William Morris’s 1858 painting ‘La Belle Iseult’.
Both share with Falke an emphasis on the interplay among decoration, space, and the psyche.
Ultimately, they suggest that mediaevalism played a role in the development of what recent
scholarship has called ‘the poetic home’, the nineteenth-century concept of the artistic
interior as an antidote to the pressures of modernity.
BASCIANO, Jessica
is an historian of art and architecture. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in
May. Her dissertation is entitled “Architecture and Popular Religion: French Pilgrimage
Churches of the Nineteenth Century.”
Notre-Dame de Bonsecours (1840-44) and the Catholic Context of the French Gothic
Revival
Architectural historians have emphasised the secular setting of the French Gothic Revival,
focusing on the government administration of church buildings and on secular theories of the
Gothic, particularly those of Viollet-le-Duc. This paper examines the Basilica of Notre-Dame
de Bonsecours in Rouen (1840-44) to illustrate the Catholic context of the movement as it
began around 1840. Notre-Dame de Bonsecours was planned without the scrutiny of the
Conseil des bâtiments civils, the government agency that rejected the Gothic designs for the
new churches of Saint-Nicolas in Nantes and Sainte-Clotilde in Paris in 1840. It was planned
before Viollet-le-Duc began to articulate his theory of Gothic architecture in 1844, and before
the creation of the corps of architectes diocésains in 1848. The curé of Bonsecours controlled
every aspect of the basilica’s design and construction. His choice of the Gothic style and
fundraising are documented by an unpublished manuscript written by his assistant, and by a
subscription book.This paper argues that the curé was influenced by the Catholic writers Charles de
Montalembert, Jean-Philippe Schmit, and Arthur Martin. It argues that he and the donors
were motivated to recreate mediaeval architectural forms by a desire to recreate a mediaeval
social order that they imagined as structured according to Christian principles. In examining a
building that was praised in the Annales archéologiques as ‘the most magnificent
advertisement that we can give to promote the construction of churches in the Gothic style’,
this paper addresses broad questions about the impact of Catholicism on the movement.
BLAKER, Catriona
is a founder member of The Pugin Society and the author of various publications relating to
aspects of the Pugin family’s life and work in Ramsgate and the South East.
Pugin and the World of Art
‘VANITY is the peg on which the arts in this country are actually hung’. This paper aims to
use this quotation from A.W.N. Pugin’s Some Observations on the State of the Arts in
England, which was published together with his An Apology for a Work entitled Contrasts, in
1837, as a jumping-off point to discuss his trenchant comments on the contemporary art
scene in England; his admiration for the Nazarenes; and his views on the ‘Italian Primitives’,
as they were called. This paper will reflect upon how these attitudes could be considered to
link up with, and reflect, similar approaches in Europe. Pugin was, after all, half-French and
was constantly travelling and studying in Northern Europe; he did not see the Gothic Revival
as an isolated concept but as a much wider movement. His views were surely coloured or
paralleled by those of his colleagues and allies in France, Belgium and Germany, and he, in
turn, greatly influenced them. It was not until 1847 that he first visited Italy, so what or who,
as early as 1841, had informed his opinions on these early Italian painters? What methods
were used at this time to spread the word about early Italian art and the Nazarenes? Pugin’s
attitudes to art reveal much about his faith, work, and way of life. This paper it aims bring
together some of these points and to examine, in a broad context, something of his response
to art, past and present.
BLUNDELL JONES, Peter
is Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield School of Architecture, and the
author of many authoritative books on architecture including Hans Scharoun and Gunnar
Asplund. He is a member of the editorial board of True Principles, the journal of the Pugin
Society.Propriety, Ritual, and Black Rod’s Progress
Starting with the poorhouses in Contrasts and references to Magdalen College in True
Principles, this paper will build a case that A.W.N. Pugin’s notion of propriety included a
strong sense of ritual and a profound understanding of the role of buildings in framing rituals.
He is not usually attributed much of a role in the planning of the Palace of Westminster, but
the organisational reinterpretation of the building in relation to the rituals of the political
process is very subtle, and its asymmetry and irregularity are more suggestive of Pugin’s
Gothic than of Barry’s regular classical plans. The coming together of building and social
interaction is perhaps most visible during the annual opening of parliament with its complex
and elaborate deployment of persons and groups remembering a series of definitive historical
events. Whether this was due to Pugin, to Barry, to their parliamentary advisers, or all these
parties – and the historical record remains tantalisingly incomplete – it remains a rich
example of how a building can provide a setting that shapes the political process and the roles
of those involved within it, helping to redefine the nature of democracy and to embody a
notion of ‘propriety’.
BREMNER, Alex
is Senior Lecturer in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh. He has published
widely on the history and theory of British imperial and colonial architecture, and is currently
completing a book entitled Imperial Gothic: religious architecture and high Anglican culture
in the British Empire c1840-70 (Yale University Press, 2013).
Missions and Mediation: testing the limits of Anglican church architecture in the
British imperial world, 1840-80
With the advent of the Oxford Movement and the rise of the Cambridge Camden Society,
High Anglican theology left an indelible mark on the progress of Gothic Revival architecture
in Britain. The formal and spatial strategies that accompanied this phenomenon naturally
found their way to Britain’s colonies. Initially, inadequate means meant that little could be
hoped for in the colonial world. However, by the late 1840s Anglican clergymen and their
architects had learnt to turn these limitations to their advantage. Thinking carefully about
specific environmental requirements (climatic and cultural), they adapted and ‘developed’
their architecture to suit the context. For ecclesiologists, both in Britain and abroad, this
process of ‘appropriate’ adaptation was considered fundamental to modern church design.
As the nineteenth century progressed, and Britain’s empire continued to expand, approaches
(or theories) of adaptation to foreign climates became evermore sophisticated—spatially,
structurally, and spiritually. This included accommodating specific cultural needs that
resulted from cultural encounters with indigenous, non-European peoples. This process was
similar to that of ‘inculturation’ pioneered by Roman Catholic missionaries in the Americas
and Asia during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For High Anglicans, this process
was accompanied by a very specific missiology that concerned the doctrine of ‘reserve’ and other forms of ‘mediated’ and interpretative theology, based on the contemporary biblical
scholarship of those such as Joseph Lightfoot and Brooke Westcott.
This paper will consider how this theological approach affected Anglican missionary
architecture in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, focusing on the chapel of the Melanesian
Mission at Norfolk Island, designed by T.G. Jackson in 1875. An innovative and intriguing
work of architecture, this building (St Barnabas) demonstrates the limits to which Anglican
design and the Gothic Revival were taken during the middle decades of the nineteenth
century.
BUCHANAN, Alexandrina
lectures in archive studies at the University of Liverpool and researches post-mediaeval
interpretations of mediaeval art and architecture. Her biography of Robert Willis will be
published in 2012/13.
False premises: Robert Willis on A.W.N. Pugin’s architectural theory
Robert Willis (1800-75), a pioneer of architectural history, is often placed alongside A.W.N.
Pugin when discussing British awareness of pan-European theories of functionalism and
structural rationalism.
This paper will introduce a hitherto unknown and unpublished set of notes from the Willis
archive: a draft review of Pugin’s True Principles (1841). Significantly, there are no known
reviews by Willis, either published or unpublished, of any other publication.
Not surprisingly, Willis wholly repudiated Pugin’s principles. Examination of points of
disagreement between the two writers is revealing, not simply of the well known weaknesses
in Pugin’s arguments, but of contemporary Anglophone understanding of Continental
theories of structural rationalism and its relevance for interpreting mediaeval architecture.
Essentially, whilst Pugin (in common with his French counterparts) sought to use rationalist
arguments to demonstrate the viability of Gothic for present practice, Willis used the same
arguments to historicise the style, placing it within a strictly mediaeval context. At the same
time, Willis aimed to dissociate architecture from morality, using an unprecedented and
unrepeated mixture of wit and sarcasm to make his point.
It is also valid to speculate why Willis’s review never made it to print. It will be argued that
the tone of the piece contradicted Willis’s aim, which (it may be inferred from his other
writings), was to dissociate architectural history from contemporary politics, for its debates to
be rational and gentlemanly debates over fact, rather than enthusiastic polemics. This makes
the differences between the two writers not simply a clash of ideas, but also of scholarly
ideologies.
BUHAGIAR, Konrad
is a founding partner of the Maltese architectural practice Architecture Project, and is Senior
Visiting Lecturer at the University of Malta. He is co-editor of The Founding Myths of
Architecture (Black Dog Publishing).
Gothic Revival and Religious Antagonism in an Island Colony: the Maltese experience.
The Treaty of Paris of 1814, which unambiguously confirmed British sovereignty over the
Maltese islands, irrevocably severed Malta’s ties not only with the Order of St John of
Jerusalem but also with the continued authority of the Neapolitan crown.
Consequently, the insertion of the Neo-Gothic style into the Maltese built environment may
not be as anomalous as it might seem in the context of an unyielding local art-consciousness
embedded in centuries-old baroque traditions. On the contrary: this phenomenon was more
than just a confirmation of Malta’s cultural connections with the main artistic movements
abroad. It became an architectural manifestation of the civil tensions and religious beliefs and
prejudices that characterised the political reality governing the islands in the nineteenth
century.
This paper discusses how Maltese Neo-Gothic found its major expression in ecclesiastical
buildings, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, which, in spite of their conflicting origins,
used the style for similar propagandist purposes. Firstly, the Maltese intelligentsia, consisting
mostly of ecclesiastics who played prominent roles in fields of learning and public
instruction, was keen to advocate the style, considering it, in true Pugin spirit, eminentemente
Cristiano. On the other hand, the increasing need for Protestant places of worship catalysed
the erection of Neo-Gothic structures ‘for the happy purpose of reminding… brethren of the
village churches at home’.
Finally, the Gothic style became, albeit fortuitously, politically charged and irreversibly
associated with the unremitting colonial presence when Malta was chosen as a centre of
proselytism, with Methodist activity provoking much hostility amongst the Catholic
population.
BURNS, Karen
is Lecturer at Department of Architecture, University of Melbourne. Her doctorate
investigated cultural tourism and Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice. She is writing a book on
manufacturing, markets and design in 1840s and 1950s Britain.Reviving the Spectator: the effects of Gothic Revival interiors
This paper studies spectatorship and Gothic Revival interiors. What kinds of subjectivity
were shaped by these interiors? How was the spectator literally revived by Gothic decorative
strategies? I will examine two distinct Gothic interiors separated by decades, design and
distance to discuss the Gothic as an antidote to nineteenth-century utilitarianism: A.W.N.
Pugin’s the Grange (1843-4) and William Wardell’s apartment and banking chamber for the
English, Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank, Melbourne (1882-87). If the former was a
counterpoint to the deadening effects of industrial culture, the latter was a model of culture in
a utilitarian, colonial city.
Both interiors are marked by the vivid, high colour, contrasting flat pattern decoration that
characterised many Gothic Revival interiors. Responding to this aesthetic and deciphering it
has proved difficult even for sympathetic commentators. Thus whilst Rosemary Hall
describes Pugin’s mid 1840s interiors in explicable terms, noting that the decoration
articulates and differentiates space, she also falls back on psychobiography, observing that
the Grange is ‘restless like its owner’ (Hill, 2007). I will argue that Pugin’s mid 1840s’
interiors can be interpreted as attempts to counter the deadening subjectivity he diagnosed as
a product of industrial culture. Wardell’s mid 1880s’ interior emerges from more
incompatible desires, demonstrating both the financial power of a banking corporation and
the civilising effects of its cultural references upon colonial subjects. Yet both interiors use
vivid, dynamic decoration to stimulate the spectator, to transform them, to reengage their
senses.
Mediaevalism provided a powerful mode for animating both surfaces and subjects by
working with variety, change, difference, individual elements, intense colour and bold
patterns. This paper argues that these are more than historical quotations or psychobiographical symptoms or aesthetic preferences but strategies for reawakening spectators, for
simulating an alive and vivid way of being. As Alice Chandler notes, mediaevalism was
interested in the organic and the joyous in opposition to utilitarianism.
COFFMAN, Peter
is supervisor of the History and Theory of Architecture Program at Carleton University in
Ottawa, and President of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada.
Protean Pointed: Gothic in Atlantic Canada, c1840-90
For A.W.N. Pugin, the moral supremacy of Christianity – specifically, Roman Catholic
Christianity – was expressed by and encapsulated in Gothic architecture. This presupposes a
fixed relationship between architectural form and social meaning that few would defend
today, but even in Pugin’s time the perceived cultural meanings of Gothic were fluid,
contested and conflicting. Nowhere are the varied and even contradictory meanings of nineteenth-century Gothic better illustrated than in the Atlantic colonies of British North
America.
The Gothic style gained a major foothold in the colonies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and
New Brunswick in the 1840s. Supported by the Church of England and the Ecclesiological
Society, Gothic became (in British North America as elsewhere in the Empire) a potent
symbol of English imperial presence and power. That ‘message’, however, soon became
muddied and complicated. On its way to becoming the region’s dominant ecclesiastical style
by the end of the century, Gothic was characterised as the native style of the English nation
and Church; a harbinger of Popish subversion; the true expression of the Roman Catholic
faith; and the architectural face of Protestant Dissent. This paper will use primary archival
sources, nineteenth-century architectural theory, and extant Gothic Revival church buildings
to map the shifting meanings of Gothic in nineteenth-century Atlantic Canada.
DAMJANOVIĆ, Dragan
holds a PhD in art history from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb
University, Croatia, where he works as Assistant Professor doing research into nineteenthcentury architecture.
Neo-Gothic in Croatian Architecture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
The use of Neo-Gothic spread in Croatian architecture as late as the 1850s and 1860s,
replacing gradually the previously dominant classicism. From the mid-1870s it began to be
predominantly used for Roman Catholic and Protestant church architecture in Croatia
following projects by Viennese architect Friedrich von Schmidt and his students – most
importantly Herman Bollé and Josip Vancaš. These projects introduced A.W.N. Pugin’s ideas
into Croatian architecture for the first time.
Pugin’s influence was, however, more an exception than a rule. The largest number of NeoGothic designs drew upon buildings on the European continent such as those of Viollet-leDuc and the architects of Cologne cathedral. Strong influence was also exerted by architects
from Austria-Hungary, especially from Vienna, where the majority of Croatian architects
studied in the late nineteenth century.
Neo-Gothic was significant primarily for the Roman Catholic Church which used it to
distinguish its buildings from Orthodox Neo-Byzantine churches or synagogues which were
built mostly in the Neo-Moorish style. Since Catholicism was an important part of Croatian
national identity there were endeavours, though unsuccessful ones, to make Neo-Gothic the
basis for a particular national architectural style.
Croatian architecture of the second half of the nineteenth century can enrich the historical
context of Neo-Gothic on the European mainland with several accomplishments. Especially
interesting are Bollé’s restoration of the Greek Catholic Cathedral in Križevci in the mixed Neo-Gothic and Neo-Byzantine style, and the restoration of the Zagreb cathedral which was a
radical attempt in establishing its assumed original Gothic state by removing almost all
baroque architectural elements and furniture.
DE JONG, Ursula
is Senior Lecturer in art and architectural history in the School of Architecture and Building
at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria. She is a scholar of the nineteenth century, having
published extensively on the work of William Wardell. She is a Director of the National Trust
of Australia (Victoria) and a member of the Heritage Council of Victoria. She is listed in
Who’s Who of Australian Women (2012).
Pugin’s True Principles in the Antipodes: the architecture of William Wardell (1823-99)
A.W.N. Pugin’s two architectural principles enunciated in The True Principles of Pointed or
Christian Architecture (1841) formed the cornerstones of William Wardell’s architectural
practice, regardless of style, until he died in 1899.
By the time Wardell left England for Australia in 1858, he had established a flourishing
practice as an acknowledged Gothic Revival architect of the first order. He had made some
major design decisions and was ready for new challenges: his combining of English and
French traditions found fertile ground in his proposal for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne
(commissioned1858), Australia’s greatest Gothic Revival building, and arguably one of the
finest nineteenth-century Gothic Revival cathedrals in the world. Wardell’s St John’s College
within the University of Sydney, commissioned in 1859, is the grandest and architecturally
most distinguished university college in New South Wales and of exceptional significance as
an example of nineteenth-century Gothic Revival architecture in Australia.
In early 1859 Wardell accepted the position of government architect in Victoria, and
subsequently Head of the Public Works Department and Chief Architect in 1861. Over two
decades Wardell was significantly influential in determining the architecture of the Colony of
Victoria in public and private practice. Pugin’s principles stood him in good stead throughout
his 40 years in practice in the Antipodes and ensured that Australia received some of its finest
nineteenth-century ecclesiastical, public and commercial architecture.
This paper will examine St Patrick’s Cathedral to assess critically the interaction between the
Gothic Revival in England and that in Australia. It will then explore Wardell’s contribution to
Australia’s nineteenth-century architectural heritage through the close examination of three
Melbourne buildings – St Patrick’s Cathedral (1858), Government House (1871) and the
English Scottish & Australasian Bank (1883) – which contributed to Melbourne’s status as
the Queen city of the South and making it the greatest nineteenth-century city in the world.
Findings will contribute directly to the discussion of the significance of this subject in the
context of the international movement of ideas during the Gothic Revival.FLOUR, Isabelle
is completing her dissertation on architectural cast museums, at the Sorbonne. She has
lectured in France and was awarded fellowships at Oxford and at the Getty Research
Institute.
The Royal Architectural Museum: Gothic Revival, organicism and ‘progressive
eclecticism’
Whereas the foundation by E.E. Viollet-le-Duc of the Museum of Comparative Sculpture in
Paris was delayed until 1879, the British Gothic Revival saw the early foundation, in 1851, of
the Architectural Museum in London, by a group of architects led by G.G. Scott, and
supported by ecclesiologist T. Beresford Hope. The museum cast collection operated as a
three-dimensional repertoire of ornament, and was formed by contributions from Gothic
Revivalist architects involved in restoration work in Britain as well as from their alter egos on
the continent.
While the collection reflected shifts in taste at work during the high Victorian period, its
international scope also paralleled the widening of the stylistic repertoire of the decorative
arts prompted by the Great Exhibition. Somewhat patronisingly, architects wished to educate
‘art-workmen’ by offering lectures and prizes in order to improve the quality of Gothic
Revival ornament, the standard of which had been lowered by the mechanisation of
production. Although all members of the Museum were united by their organicist conception
of architecture, lectures by Beresford Hope, Scott and G.E. Street revealed inner tensions as
to the use of the collection, between the copying of the best examples and the teaching of the
principles of ornament, a concern shared with Owen Jones’s Grammar of Ornament. These
tensions resulted in antagonist attitudes, oscillating between a preference for pure Gothicism,
rooted in either religious or national agendas blended with moral beliefs, or a doctrine of
‘progressive eclecticism,’ whose evolutionary rationale should pave the way for a new style
for the nineteenth century.
FRASER, Henry
is Professor Emeritus, University of the West Indies, University / National Public Orator. He
is the author of 110 peer-reviewed publications, 10 books, and 18 films on historic
architecture.
Upton House, Upton, St Michael, Barbados
Bishop William Hart Coleridge, Oxford graduate and nephew of Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
arrived in Barbados in January 1825 as first bishop in the British West Indies. He was
undoubtedly familiar with the works of A.C. Pugin and A.W.N. Pugin, and his passion for Gothic Revival architecture informed his energetic church building programme over 17 years,
and all later churches.
On arrival, plans were already drawn for rebuilding the original St Michael’s Church in
Bridgetown, in Georgian style. Coleridge had a castellated neo-Gothic tower added. He then
started an aggressive building programme – six churches (five were damaged or demolished
in the great hurricane of 1831 and swiftly rebuilt) and a further 11 churches or ‘chapels of
ease’ and chapel schools. A further nine older churches were rebuilt within five years of the
hurricane – adding Gothic towers and chancels to some Georgian structures. Another 15
Anglican, three Moravian, six Methodist and one Catholic church were built in the next 50
years, ALL in similar Neo-Gothic style.
Coleridge’s churches and chapels inspired all church building in Barbados, even today, but
had little influence on domestic architecture. Charles Barry and Pugin’s British Houses of
Parliament were emulated in the Barbados Parliament Buildings of 1870-74, but few
merchant houses or plantation great houses feature Gothic Revival. Coleridge established
Gothic Revival as ‘the architectural vocabulary of worship’.
GRADZIEL, Olga
is a PhD student at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, with the main area
of her interest being the mediaeval revival movement in the nineteenth-century culture of
Great Britain and the United States, investigated from the point of view of utopian theory,
literary criticism and religious studies.
Mediaeval space and the supernatural world in the architectural theory and literature
of the nineteenth-century mediaeval revival in Great Britain and United States: A.W.N.
Pugin and Ralph Adams Cram
This paper analyses the theory that Gothic Revival architecture is a manifestation of the
nineteenth-century fascination with mediaeval spirituality, paying special attention to the
spiritual meaning assigned to it by authors concerned both with the specifically architectural
as well as the broader, philosophical meaning of the works produced within the movement.
These writers include A.W.N. Pugin and Ralph Adams Cram, both of whom combined
architectural creation with theoretical consideration of their architectural work. In the case of
Ralph Adams Cram, this paper also dedicates attention to his literary productions comprising
Gothic stories (Black Spirits and White) and Arthurian drama (Excalibur) which are here
treated as the expression of their author’s willingness to bring forth the vision of the
supernatural world which expressed the mediaeval conception of reality as a conglomerate of
spiritual and material elements. The same belief lay at the core of convictions about the true
meaning of architecture maintained by representatives of the Gothic Revival.
Pointing to the relations between the architectural theory of the Gothic Revival movement
and the conception of the world promoted by Gothic literature and the literature of the Arthurian revival, this paper presents the Gothic Revival as an aspect of nineteenth-century
mediaevalism, manifesting itself in architecture (Gothic Revival), literary culture (romance
revival, Gothic literature) and religious ideas (Anglican orthodoxy and Catholic revival), all
of which frequently found expression in the works of the same authors.
GREEN, Simon
is an architectural historian at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical
Monuments of Scotland in Edinburgh working in survey and research. He is Honorary
Secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and President of the
Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.
From the Presbyterian Preaching Box to the High Gothic Cathedral
The paper will examine how Presbyterian worship in Scotland was transformed during the
nineteenth century and how the embracing of A.W.N. Pugin-inspired Gothic Revival
architecture provided a suitable expression both for its new forms of worship and for its role
in the community and society. The intellectual groundwork for this shift from preaching kirk
to the Gothic church was prompted from a variety of directions by ecclesiological societies,
individuals, and the recording of mediaeval buildings all of which to a greater or lesser extent
embraced Puginian ideals. The requirement for a great number of new churches occasioned
by the Disruption in 1841 and the needs of other denominations created an ecclesiastical
building boom. The ways that the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church in
Scotland both adopted this style will be examined. The dominance of the Pugin ideal of the
Gothic Revival as the only acceptable style will be explored and how this was transformed
into a revival of particularly Scottish forms of Gothic. The ancient cathedrals were restored as
single places of worship and older churches were re-ordered along more axial Gothic lines
with the introduction of other pre-Reformation elements, whilst almost all new churches
embraced the Gothic Revival. In conclusion the paper will trace how the requirements and
the architectural expression of the Church of Scotland changed so dramatically during the
nineteenth century due to the influence of Pugin and the Gothic Revival.
GUERCI, Manolo
is an architect and architectural historian. His research interests span from the early modern
period to the twentieth century. He teaches history and design at the Kent School of
Architecture.Pugin’s most controversial colleague at his best: Charles Barry’s designs for
Northumberland House in London, 1852-1855
Charles Barry is of course Pugin’s most controversial colleague, an incredibly successful
practitioner (in the modern sense) who would adapt his principles to almost every style, as
opposed to being a highly spiritual advocate of the Gothic cause. Following the debate about
the country’s “national style” for the new Houses of Parliament, which, oddly enough,
resulted in the most regular, or Renaissance-inspired, of new Gothic buildings, this paper will
draw attention to what was considered appropriate, in the mid-eighteenth century, for the
London residence of one of the kingdom’s most powerful families and patrons, the dukes of
Northumberland. Interestingly, the same patron who would commission Barry’s designs, the
fourth Duke of Northumberland, commissioned Anthony Salvin, one of the finest Victorian
exponents of the castle style, to restore the family’s ancestral seat at
Alnwick. Northumberland House (1605-14 – demolished 1874) was the greatest
representative of the old aristocratic mansions on the Strand, a unique example of the
emergence of a British school of architectural practice, from the dominance of immigrant
sculptor/architects to the great native-born designers of public buildings of the nineteenth
century: Bernard Janssen, Gerard Christmas, John Smithson, John Thorpe, Inigo Jones,
Edward Carter, John Webb, Daniel Garrett, James Paine, Robert Adam, C.R. Cockerell,
Thomas Hardwick, Thomas Cundy and Sir Charles Barry.
HAMBER, Anthony
is an independent photographic historian. His research interests include photographically
illustrated publications 1839-80, and architectural photography in mid-Victorian Britain.
A Visual Conduit: mid nineteenth-century photography and the Gothic
A.W.N. Pugin died in September 1852, almost a year after the closing of the 1851 Great
Exhibition at which his designs had dominated the Mediaeval Court. The Exhibition was
acknowledged by contemporaries as a point of inflection in the progress of the new medium
of photography. While the 1840s was a ‘slow burn’ for the rise of this new medium, the
1850s saw an explosion in its application, including the documentation of the full gamut of
the fine and decorative arts and architecture.
Paralleling the emergence of photography from its largely amateur origins were a number of
catalysts and drivers. These included the rise of county and local history, archaeological and
architectural societies, a wide range of related periodicals and serials, and the formation of
special interest groups such as the Architectural Photographic Association.
From the 1850s photography became a primary conduit through which images of the Gothic
past and present were distributed via a variety of print processes, formats and distribution
channels. Photography of Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture was regularly found at both the annual Architectural Exhibition and a wide range of international, national, and local
exhibitions. Loose photographic prints, portfolios and photographically illustrated books
dealing with the Gothic proliferated.
This paper will examine and evidence the significance of photography to record and
disseminate the richness and diversity of the Gothic in the middle of the nineteenth century,
including contemporary reception within the context of the international movement of ideas
during the Gothic Revival.
HAYES, Richard William
Graduate Center, City University of New York
E.W. Godwin and the Modernity of Eclecticism
The aesthetic Movement architect E.W. Godwin (1833-86) is often interpreted as a protomodernist, whose work is valued to the extent that it evinces a progression from the Gothic
Revival of his early designs to an abstraction that attenuates historical precedent. The recent
popularity of Godwin’s furniture, exhibited as masterworks of pure design and to be admired
like modern sculpture for its formal inter-relationships, reinforces the proto-modernist
interpretation of his career.
Opposed to this univocal trajectory, however, is the fact that Godwin designed furniture and
interiors in a variety of historical styles throughout his career, while articulating the principles
of a ‘judicious eclecticism’. In the 1870s and 1880s, for example, well after he designed such
seemingly ‘abstract’ pieces as his famous ebonised sideboard or the Chelsea house and studio
for James McNeill Whistler, he continued to fashion Anglo-Greek, Anglo-Egyptian, and Old
English or Jacobean furniture. During these decades, Godwin also took a strong interest in
historical costume, and his sketchbooks are filled with studies of ancient Greek, mediaeval,
and renaissance dress.
In this paper, I analyse the persistence of historicism in Godwin’s furniture and interior
designs, particularly his Old English lines, such as the ‘Shakespere’ dining room set from the
1880s, one of his most popular designs. In these works, Godwin adapted Jacobean furniture
to contemporary methods of production. The continued attraction of the past for Godwin is
revealed in the observation he made in 1874: ‘there is a charm about the old we all more or
less feel—a charm never, or very, very rarely, found in modern’ designs. Godwin’s position
bears similarities to the advancement of historical eclecticism by Walter Pater in the
‘Postscript’ to his 1889 book, Appreciations, in which he argued that ‘an intellectually rich
age such as our own [is] necessarily an eclectic one’. Godwin’s modernism may be located
not only in the abstraction and simplicity of his designs but in his perception that historical
styles may be a conscious choice—one of the freedoms that modern life offers. The context
and implications of this insight form the subject of my paper.IRON, Candace
is a doctoral student and a contract faculty member in the Division of Humanities at York
University, Toronto. Her interests include Canadian religious, cultural, and architectural
history.
William Hay’s Architectural Theory: adapting A.W.N. Pugin’s True Principles to the
Canadian environment
In his obituary, which was printed in the July 1888 Canadian Architect and Builder, the
Scottish-born architect William Hay (1818-88) was credited with introducing the revival of
mediaeval architecture to Toronto and its surrounding area.
Hay was trained as a joiner, but became skilled as an architect gaining experience in the
Edinburgh office of John Henderson (1804-62). In 1846, he went to work for G.G. Scott
(1811-78), who contracted him as clerk of works for St John the Baptist Cathedral, in
Newfoundland.
Besides being an architect, Hay was a loyal follower of A.W.N. Pugin, the Cambridge
Camden Society (later the Ecclesiological Society), and he was a writer on architecture,
publishing in both Canada and Britain.
Hay’s admiration of Pugin was outlined in his article, ‘The Late Mr. Pugin and the Revival of
Christian Architecture’, which was printed in the Anglo-American Magazine in 1853. The
article is essentially a eulogy which summarises Pugin’s ideas about Gothic architecture. This
article was followed by two others, ‘Architecture for the Meridian of Canada’, which
attempts to incorporate Pugin’s architectural principles with an ecclesiological approach to
building, in hopes of creating a Canadian national style; and, ‘Ecclesiastical Architecture:
village churches’, which adamantly promotes truthfulness in design and materials, while
using Hay’s Anglican church in Brampton, Ontario as a prime specimen of Gothic
architecture in Canada.
This paper will examine Hay’s articles and his Canadian churches to evaluate how he adapted
Pugin’s ideas to a Canadian context, concomitantly influencing early Canadian architecture
and theory.
JACOBS, Jamie
will begin her PhD in architecture this autumn at the University of Kent. She holds degrees in
English Literature and Art (Graphic Design) as well as a Master’s degree in art history from
Northern Illinois University where her graduate research focused on A.W.N. Pugin and
Britain’s Gothic Revival. She combines her design practice with teaching courses at the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago.Principles and Practice: A.W.N. Pugin's Relationship to Industrial Production
The involvement of the Victorian architect and designer A.W.N. Pugin‘s in Britain’s Gothic
Revival is often characterised as an antiquated pursuit that favoured a return to a mediaeval
way of life and in so doing promoted the Gothic style. In reality, though, Pugin was not
bothered by the way in which his goods or buildings were made, advocating the appropriate
use of modern manufacturing techniques while pursuing his goal of reviving the principles
found in mediaeval works rather than returning to a mediaeval way of life. Inspired by the
Catholic faith, Pugin, along with his four main collaborators John Hardman, George Myers,
John Crace and Herbert Minton, all produced high quality Gothic goods by readily employing
mechanisation. At best conflated with those who would succeed him, at worst glossed over
due to his seemingly historicising approach to architecture and design, Pugin is often
relegated to a role of minor importance in relation to the development of modernism.
However, in adopting a progressive view of industrialisation, Pugin distinguished himself
from his contemporaries while exhibiting characteristics that would be influential to the work
of modernists. An examination of Pugin’s production methods in various media sheds light
on his relationship with industrial manufacture while raising new questions about his
reception and legacy.
JORDAN, Kate
is a PhD candidate at The Bartlett School of Architecture. Her thesis explores the role of nuns
in convent building during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in the wider context
of feminist discourses in architectural history.
‘I do not admire Mr Pugin’s Style’: Gothic Revivalism, nuns and the architecture of
Victorian convents
The letters of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, written between 1839
and 1840 offer not only insights into her personal views on the Gothic style and its suitability
for convent architecture but also hint at a wider picture of women’s involvement in the
building of Victorian convents. This paper proposes that nuns took a direct role in convent
building during the nineteenth century in ways that defied social expectations of women:
their participation extended from patronage and design to maintenance and manual building.
They also self-consciously employed Gothic Revivalism in their architecture for functional,
political and stylistic reasons.
McAuley’s letters reveal her reservations about the logic of a rigid ‘monastic style’ for active
convents and in so doing underscore her vital role in the design of St Mary’s Convent,
Handsworth – a building that is usually solely attributed to A.W.N. Pugin. The result of their
efforts is a building that fulfilled practical requirements, promoted a fledgling Catholic
aesthetic and showcased unpretentious Gothic design in equal measure. The harmonising of
form and function achieved at Handsworth is echoed in later collaborations between nuns and architects across different orders (notably that between Cornelia Connelly and E.W. Pugin at
Mayfield Convent) and foreshadowed the ways in which the Gothic style would be
customised by women in countless convent designs. The paper suggests that despite the
explicitly patriarchal ambitions of Pugin’s Gothic Revival ideology, it provided an aesthetic
template that could be adapted to the uniquely female specifications of convents and helped
to shape a new, culturally and architecturally distinctive building type.
KENAAN-KEDAR, Nurith and SEGAL, Einat
Nurith Kenaan-Kedar is Professor of Mediaeval Art History and former Dean of the Faculty
of the Arts at Tel Aviv University. She has published widely on Crusader art in the Holy
Land; Romanesque art in Europe; and Christian art in nineteenth and twentieth-century
Palestine/Israel.
Einat Segal received her doctorate in 2008 from Tel Aviv University. She researches
mediaeval art and nineteenth and twentieth-century Christian art in the Holy Land. She
teaches mediaeval and Renaissance art at the Open University of Israel.
The Salesian Gothic-Revival Church of Jesus the Adolescent in Nazareth (1906-26)
Crowning the western hill of Nazareth, the French Salesian Orphanage and its Church of
Jesus the Adolescent dominate the urban panorama. As Nazareth is believed to have been the
town of Jesus's adolescence, the figure of the divine youth was presented as a model for the
orphans. This paper discusses the Gothic-Revival architecture and sculpture of the church,
which reflects Catholic beliefs, romantic concepts of the Holy Land, and the patriotic
perceptions of its French ecclesiastical and lay patrons.
Mgr Maxime Caron (1845-1929), head of the Petite Seminaire in Versailles, an ardent French
patriot and devotee of Jesus the Adolescent, initiated the church project, accompanied its
construction and was himself buried in the church. He wrote extensively of the model he
proposed for it which exhibited his perception of the Gothic architecture under Saint Louis as
a sublime expression, a perception continuing those of Gothic revivalists such as E.E. Violletle-Duc and even Victor Hugo.
Mme Fouäche (1851-1926), under the influence of Caron, regarded herself as ‘a new Saint
Helena the Empress’. She donated a huge sum for the construction of the church and for the
almost Gothic sepulchral monument for herself and her late husband.
Lucien Gauthier, the architect Caron chose on account of his being ‘a man of Old France’,
followed Caron’s concepts, though not his actual model, and planned a monumental GothicRevival church with a two-towered facade.
By investigating the dialogue of the church architecture and of the sepulchral monument with
early Gothic cathedrals and late Gothic churches, this paper aims to shed light on the particular contributions of the two patrons and the architect to the pictorial language and
meanings of the church.
KEWLEY, Jonathan
is an independent architectural historian interested mainly in the eighteenth and early
nineteenth centuries. He is currently working on a long-term study of grave monuments in the
long eighteenth century.
The Gothic Revolution: the sudden and complete dominance of the Gothic style in
Victorian grave monuments
Before 1830 it was rare to find any Gothic influence on English grave monuments. By 1860 it
was near-universal. This was more of a revolution than in any other aspect of the Gothic
Revival; this paper examines how it came about.
It starts by looking back and considering why neither Gothick nor Commissioners’ Gothic
had permeated the churchyard. It goes on to look at the influences of Pugin’s day which
propelled the Gothic grave monument to its preponderant position – from writers and
architects on the one hand to transport and quarries on the other. It examines why its
dominant position lasted so long – longer, generally, than the Gothic architectural style. It
puts forward its significance as evidence for the mass-acceptance of the propriety of Gothic
for certain purposes.
It considers how the designs of these monuments fit into the canon of the Gothic Revival.
Can they be considered as ‘archaeological’ when they are in general so dissimilar to
mediaeval precedent? Are they in fact closer in concept to Strawberry Hill Gothick? On the
other hand, is the great inventiveness of some provincial masons in a mediaeval spirit?
It finally explores the extent to which this was a purely English phenomenon, and seeks to
assess its significance within the international Gothic Revival as a whole.
KITE, Stephen
is Reader at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Recent publications
include Adrian Stokes: an architectonic eye (2009), and Building Ruskin’s Italy: watching
architecture (2012, forthcoming).Shaping the Darks: Ruskin’s ‘energetic shadow’
Notwithstanding John Ruskin’s attacks on his ‘paltry pinnacles’ and ‘diseased crockets’, it
was A.W.N. Pugin himself who advanced beyond the brittle spaces of his early churches to
achieve a greater material presence in his architecture. However, many interpreters see texts
such as Ruskin’s ‘The Lamp of Power’ (Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1849) as the salient
ones in establishing in the international Gothic Revival – from the 1850s onwards – ideas of
primitivity, mass, and abstract form, and the related potential of ‘energetic shadow’ as a
shaping factor in architecture. Less examined, as in this paper, are the sources of Ruskin’s
sensibility to shadow as a positive figure in architecture, as it evolved out of his actual
‘watching’ of Italian architecture – a methodology of shadow-seeking to be discovered in his
pocketbooks, worksheets, and diaries as read against the buildings themselves. This story of
shadow is explored on a number of levels: through Ruskin’s mentors in architectural
representation such as Samuel Prout, David Roberts, J.D. Harding, and J.M.W. Turner;
through critical architectural encounters such as those of 1845 at Lucca, where, in Ruskin’s
readings of the church of San Michele, shadow attains a new independence in relation to
form; and through Ruskin’s shadow-seeking in the Venice of 1849-50.
Last edited by Praxiteles on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:50 pm

Kent Pugin Conference part II

KOCYBA, Kate
is a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri. She is completing a dissertation on the
Episcopal Church use and dissemination of Neo-Gothic architecture in the United States.
Neo-Gothic Moves Inland: Episcopalians & the Wisconsin Frontier 1835 - 1865
If A.W.N. Pugin established the Christian moral tone for Neo-Gothic architecture, it was the
Ecclesiologists and High Churchmen on both sides of the Atlantic who developed an
ideology for ecclesiastical architecture. This paper examines one case of how these ideas
moved from England to the United States, where they took form, among other places, in the
remote regions of the upper Midwest. The power of the published word is critical to our
understanding this architecture. Without publications such as New York Ecclesiologist and
The Churchmen, the Gothic Revival of the mid-nineteenth century would not have existed,
not in New York or Philadelphia, and certainly not in rural Wisconsin. This research,
therefore, reveals how and how quickly ideas about Gothic architecture promulgated in
England spread throughout the world including the United States, and how those ideas were
adapted to substantially different circumstances, illustrating powerfully the flexibility of the
Gothic as always ascribed.
Prior to Wisconsin’s statehood in 1848, Episcopalians were seeking a foothold on the
Wisconsin Frontier and they used Gothic Revival architecture to express their doctrine and
solidify their status. Ecclesiastical ideas from England – such as those of Pugin and the
Cambridge Camden Society – and America were well known to Episcopal clergy and
architects in this period. Architects with ecclesiological backgrounds created pattern books to
promote and establish a ‘correct’ church type for Episcopalians on the frontier. Since the establishment of the Episcopal Church it had perceived itself as an extension of the ‘true
Catholic Church’. Thus since the early nineteenth century Episcopalians had established an
architectural association of ‘Catholic’ through the use of the Gothic. Episcopalians, especially
in Wisconsin, saw no other choice for their churches for it symbolised their theological
beliefs. Therefore by the 1850s ecclesiology was firmly rooted in the American mindset as
Episcopalian, and even in the wilderness, Episcopalians constructed churches that established
their presence and facilitated their liturgical practices.
LAWREY, Alex
is a film-maker and independent scholar specialising in the built environment and the history
of trades unions in the building and print industries. He graduated from the Masters of Civic
Design course at the University of Liverpool last September and is a member of the Utopian
Studies Society of Europe.
The (in) dignity of labour: craft, Contrasts and conflict in Pugin’s Gothic Revival
A.W.N. Pugin’s book Contrasts set out a manifesto for a future Gothic style matched with a
return to mediaeval Catholicism. The nineteenth-century Gothic Revivalists operated against
a background of strikes, trades unions, immigrant labour and the undercutting of prices and
wages. The celebration of the mythic ‘craftsman’ in Pugin, (and in John Ruskin and William
Morris) provides a stark contrast to the labour conditions of real building workers, and there
were concurrent changes in fraternities and trades unions, in industrial laws and in the
structures of the ‘building world’, notably the general contract system. Mediaevalism was
often built through the use of immigrant labour, such as the O’Sheas, with local craft control
effectively surrendered in the process.
However just as the Gothic style spread across the British Empire so too did the skilled-craft
trades unions, Pugin’s designs were exported to Australia, along with Owenite slogans and
demands for trades union control, with correspondence showing that craft unions influenced
patterns of emigration and the supply of skilled carpenters, masons and the like. Melbourne
University incorporates a Puginite Gothic sensibility in its architecture and also witnessed a
strike by stonemasons that won the world’s first eight-hour working day. Gothicism as a style
served varying purposes, from Pugin’s notion of a return to Rome, to the Church of England
supporting Commissioner’s churches built using industrial methods, exemplified by the iron
pillars of St George’s, Everton. Victorian trades unions were not trying to return to an
idealised version of the mediaeval guilds but rather revisiting conflicts between journeymen
and guild masters that were all too common in the Middle Ages.LEPINE, Ayla
is the Andrew W. Mellon Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of
Art, London. Her research focuses on both Victorian monasticism and the persistence of the
Gothic Revival in twentieth-century Anglo-American contexts.
Backward Glances or Profound Progress?: transatlantic Gothic’s ‘restrained power’ as
twentieth-Century avant-garde
In the 1880s, the British architect George Frederick Bodley advocated designs characterised
by ‘restrained power’ in which ornament and vivid colour could be tempered by simplicity
and light. Meanwhile, Anglican theologians such as R. M. Benson and Charles Gore offered
compelling studies on the nature of sacrifice, sacrament and discipline. These ideas were
carried forward by Bodley and a new generation of early twentieth-century architects in
Britain and the US; indeed, when Bodley wrote to the American Bishop Henry Satterlee in
1906 to accept the commission to design a national Episcopal cathedral for the United States
in Washington DC, he spoke of the future cathedral as a utopian Gothic Revival vision for a
new world.
This paper posits that in the early twentieth century, Gothic Revival architecture governed by
‘restrained power’ was synonymous with a specifically Anglo-Catholic sacramental theology
with a thoroughly transnational Anglican world-view. New research regarding contemporary
architectural and theological practices will underpin fresh interpretations of Cram, Goodhue
and Ferguson’s St Thomas in New York as a mediaevalist case study. Recent scholarship on
the significance of place and memory in architectural design will be invoked alongside
primary research to account for a crucially important aspect of Anglo-American Gothic
Revival impetus at the turn of the century. Historicist buildings like St Thomas constructed a
cultural memory of the Middle Ages through iterations of Britain’s Victorian Gothic Revival.
Figured in this way, America’s twentieth-century Gothic inhabited a productive paradox,
positioning itself as both traditionalist and robustly avant-garde in its engagement with the
stylistic and ideological priorities of modernity.
LINDFIELD-OTT, Peter N.
is a PhD student of architecture and furniture at the University of St Andrews. He is
completing his thesis, ‘Furnishing Britain: Gothic as a national aesthetic, 1740–1840’.
A.W.N. Pugin's Gothic: evolutionary, revolutionary, reactionary?
This paper re-examines the place of A.W.N. Pugin in the ‘evolution’ of the Gothic Revival.
Pugin scholars have focused on his broad range of output, his achievements and, above all,
his revolutionary approach to reviving the mediaeval arts. Pugin’s importance in this regard is not disputed. Instead, this paper argues that his ‘reformation’ of the Gothic was part of a
wider movement in early nineteenth-century British architecture and furniture-making. Case
studies drawn from extensive and unpublished manuscript sources demonstrate that a number
of Pugin’s predecessors and contemporaries were deeply concerned with exploring mediaeval
architecture and woodwork, and applying this knowledge to the design of furniture and
interiors fit for modern convenience. Although their efforts were unilaterally dismissed by
Pugin in 1841, I argue that his ‘reformed’ Gothic was part of a bigger trend towards
understanding and interpreting the mediaeval architecture and woodwork. The True
Principles was evolutionary, not revolutionary
Unpublished manuscript correspondence, designs, extant architecture and furniture
are examined and provide the foundation for a number of case studies. All the buildings and
furniture presented are important examples of the Gothic Revival in the nineteenth century in
terms of patronage, status, cost or location, and demonstrate some level of antiquarian
preoccupation: Eaton Hall, Cheshire (1803-14, 1823-25); the Speaker’s House, Westminster
(1802-8); and the work of the antiquarian architect L.N. Cottingham (1787-1847). They
clearly demonstrate that architects and designers were scrutinising mediaeval output to
inform their work decades before, and whilst, Pugin was establishing the ‘true principles’, his
principles were reactionary, but not entirely revolutionary.
LOCHHEAD, Ian
is Associate Professor of Art History, School of Humanities, University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand. He has a particular interest in the impact of the Gothic Revival
on New Zealand architecture.
A Gothic Revival City in a Seismic Zone: the rise and fall of Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, founded in 1850, was the principal city of Canterbury, the last and most
ambitious of New Zealand Company’s settlements. With a bishop at its spiritual leader and a
cathedral at its centre, Canterbury was intended as an ideal cross section of English provincial
life at a time when traditional values were seen as threatened following the revolutions of
1848. The Canterbury Association, founded in 1848 to promote the colony, included many
prominent churchmen and it was assumed from the outset that Christchurch’s architecture
would be Gothic in style. Benjamin Mountfort, the Association’s chosen architect, was a
disciple of A.W.N. Pugin and his buildings shaped the character of the colonial settlement.
By 1900 Christchurch was one of the most complete Gothic Revival cities in the world,
illustrating the global extent of the movement.
This paper explores the architectural development of Christchurch from the modest timberGothic structures of the 1850s to the completion of G.G. Scott’s Christ Church Cathedral
in1901. The adaptation of British architectural forms and construction techniques to the
colonial environment is examined along with the strategies architects employed to counteract
the threat of earthquakes. The rejection of Scott’s initial cathedral proposal, with its internal timber structure enclosed by stone walls, is discussed along with its influence on subsequent
Christchurch buildings. The paper concludes by surveying the impact of the earthquakes of
September 2010 and February 2011 on Christchurch’s Gothic Revival buildings and offers an
assessment of the likely fate of Scott’s first cathedral proposal, based on the performance of
contemporary buildings which adopted his design concept.
MACDONELL, Cameron
is a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s School of Architecture. His thesis explores
Maury’s new discursive possibilities for Gothic architecture and literature through the works
of Ralph Adams Cram.
Phantom limbs: the Gothic storeys and stories of Ralph Adams Cram
There remains a shared assumption among scholars of modern Gothic architecture and
literature: their respective discourses parted company after the 1830s. This assumption is
based on two interrelated arguments: first, the Victorian Gothic novel evolved beyond the
distinctly mediaeval, whereas Victorian Gothic architects attended rigorously to mediaeval
structural principles; second, Gothic literature was interested in the domestic haunted house;
whereas Victorian architects concentrated their principles on the Church. The Victorian
church, as the true House of God, was supposed to have exorcised any confusion with the
domestic architecture of man, providing sanctuary from the haunting conditions of a secular,
urban-industrial world.
Ralph Adams Cram complicated this schismatic view. In the darkest moments of his despair,
Cram designed churches that were not resurrected Gothic beauties, but spectral remnants of a
murdered past beyond his powers to avenge. He wrote a book of Gothic ghost stories that
expressed his impotent horror, and he designed St Mary’s Anglican Church (1902–04) in
Walkerville, Ontario, to do the same. This paper investigates Cram’s phantom limb pain,
studying his Walkerville church through the correlation of sickness and the supernatural. He
designed it for Edward Walker, who was secretly dying of syphilis. Edward’s illness was
encrypted through the withered limb of a biblical leper; and his ‘hand’ became a phantom
limb haunting the structural body of the church. The House of Walker haunts the Walkerville
House of God in a way that opens new directions for modern Gothic architecture and
literature.
MACE, Jessica
is a PhD candidate in art and architectural history at York University, Toronto. Her
dissertation is titled ‘Nation-building: Gothic Revival Houses in Canada West, 1841-67’.Pugin versus pattern books: interpretations of the Gothic Revival for houses in Canada
West, 1841-67
In Canada’s formative years, a clear link between the colony and England was sought,
particularly in terms of the construction of a personal dwelling. A Gothic house, more than
simply responding to an international fashion, marked an alliance with the motherland and
marked its inhabitants as proud British citizens. The style as promoted by A.W.N. Pugin
arrived in English-speaking Canada through immigrating architects and British publications,
but was also filtered through America as eager pattern-book writers adopted his gospel. This
confluence of ideas ensured a unique interpretation of the Gothic Revival style for houses in
Canada West (Southern Ontario, as it was known from 1841-67), which will be examined in
this paper.
While Gothic was the preferred house style here in the years before Confederation, a purer,
more Puginian Gothic was typically adopted in major city centres where architects lived and
worked. American pattern books, such as those by Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-52),
were used for convenience in smaller towns and in the countryside, thus ensuring a wide
variety of manifestations of the style. This paper will examine select examples of architectbuilt houses, including clergy houses, as well as examples of houses that were built to the
specifications provided in pattern books, in order to highlight the diverse ways in which the
style was used. This investigation seeks to shed light on the application of the Gothic style to
houses in Canada West and the attempt to establish a house style uniquely adapted to the
Canadian situation.
MAURY, Gilles
is an architect and holds a doctorate in the history of architecture. He teaches history,
methodology, and has led a design studio in the Lille Architecture School (France) since
2002. He is also a member of the school research team LACTH.
The proselytism of a true disciple: Baron Bethune’s works in Roubaix, 1874-96
The relationship between A.W.N. Pugin and Jean-Baptiste Bethune (1821-96) was
undoubtedly one of master-follower, despite its very short length. All of Bethune’s works in
Belgium demonstrate his strict acceptance of Pugin’s convictions, or True Principles, to a
degree still to be explored in depth. Recent research has extended knowledge of his work, but
his influence in France, as a counterbalance to Viollet-le-Duc's hegemony, remains largely
unknown.
Working in a context of complete revision of the Catholic faith, and encouraged by powerful
families from the Belgian ultramontane circles, Bethune tried to apply Gothic design to everything, drawing alone but trusting a network of gifted craftsmen. Around 1870, Bethune
met the very pious Desclée family, as yet unaware that these unparalleled patrons would help
him to develop his practice in all of his master’s cherished domains until his death in 1896.
It was in Roubaix that Baron Bethune began to build a bridgehead in France for a second
Gothic Revival. Thanks to the Desclée family, Bethune built four exceptional buildings in the
town and the two most important still survive today. The lecture will show how Bethune’s
works and the repercussions in the Lille metropolis took shape as a little-known Gothic
revival proselytism, perhaps part of a wider plan for the diffusion of ultramontane ideas. This
paperr will detail, through some unexploited archives, how this tireless designer, this
champion of Pugin’s ideals, became involved in some of the Desclée family’s businesses, and
overwhelmed the Roubaix area with his creations that include buildings, liturgical ornaments,
stained-glass, lighting fixtures, publications and religious imagery…
MCNAIR, Stephen
is a PhD candidate in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on
ecclesiology in the antebellum Deep South. Stephen holds a degree in History from the
University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Tulane
University.
Richard Upjohn's Gothic Revival in Antebellum Alabama
The mature Gothic Revival movement of the 1850s held multifarious associations ranging
from the picturesque to the sacred for the geographically dispersed and culturally diverse
population of the United States. For Episcopalians in antebellum rural Alabama, the Gothic
Revival provided a mien to demonstrate refinement, express piety, and instigate notions of
permanence. The Englishman Richard Upjohn served as the voice for rural ecclesiology in
Alabama, as demonstrated by the omnipresent influence of his plan-book, Upjohn’s Rural
Architecture. Through a close examination of the Upjohn-inspired churches, this paper will
examine how the interrelated agendas of English ecclesiology, regional aesthetics, Episcopal
tradition, and romanticism eventually coalesced into a denomination’s identification with and
conversion to the Gothic Revival.
The figurehead Rural Architecture was one of the most influential publications to broach the
cross-denominational desire for ecclesiastical architecture in America. Upjohn provided
designs for both a parish church and chapel that differed considerably in price, size, and
elaboration, but utilised board and batten construction as well as adopting mediaeval-inspired
forms and details. His unique board-and-batten carpenter Gothic designs allowed Alabama
congregations to draw upon carpentry tradition and the use of timber while meeting the
architectural and liturgical needs of the Church.
Ecclesiology in the American South was directly influenced by the relationships between
southern clergymen and their English contemporaries. Publications produced by the Oxford Architectural Society as well as the Cambridge Camden Society influenced promising
parishes that longed for a Gothic church in the spirit of the High Church Anglican tradition.
The result was ‘Upjohn Gothic’ churches combining English ecclesiology with an
understanding of local weather, materials, budgets, and social traditions creating a unique
form of vernacular ecclesiology.
MOONEY, Barbara Burlison
is Associate Professor in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa. She is
writing a book on mediaeval revival churches on the American prairie.
Gothic Revival on the American Prairie: the churches of G.P. Stauduhar
The horizon line of the typical American prairie town is punctuated by three exclamation
points: a grain elevator, water tower, and Gothic spire. Gothic Revival churches abound on
the Midwest, yet scant scholarship addresses their history. Fortunately, the survival of more
than 60 churches designed by George P. Stauduhar, and the preservation of his office records
exemplify how this design mode became a dominant feature in American prairie towns, and
also reveal how this period fits into the larger historical trajectory of Gothic Revival
architecture.
Stauduhar (1863-1928) received his training in the late 1880s at the University of Illinois,
under the direction of Nathan C. Ricker, who was the first graduate of an American collegiate
architecture programme. Stauduhar promoted himself as a specialist in church architecture,
and his extant buildings can be found in Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, North
Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
An examination of his clients, design practices, and the perception of his churches among
American Midwesterners undermine conventional paradigms about the evolution of Gothic
Revival architecture. First, Stauduhar’s Gothic Revival designs shifts the dominant historical
narrative about American Gothic Revival architecture from one concentrating on wealthy,
High Church Episcopalians to one focusing on working-class, German and Irish Catholics.
Stauduhar’s design practices also reveal how late Gothic Revival buildings relied on practices
that became associated with modern architecture, namely, standardisation and massproduction. Finally, an investigation of the context of Stauduhar’s churches reveals how
Gothic Revival on the prairie was steeped in deep-seated sectarian and ethnic antagonism.NAU, Anna
holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh and an MA from the University of Virginia.
She is an architectural conservator with Ford, Powell & Carson Architects in San Antonio,
Texas.
Ecclesiological Gothic in America: the Episcopal churches of St James the Less and St
Mark’s, Philadelphia
The Episcopal churches of St James the Less and St Mark’s in Philadelphia introduced a new
form of Gothic revival architecture to 1840s America that was directly inspired by the
architectural movement of the Cambridge Camden (later Ecclesiological) Society of England.
While the place of these churches as two of the earliest ‘mature’ ecclesiological designs in
America has been well established by Phoebe Stanton, this paper examines their patronage to
investigate why they appeared in Philadelphia at this time. It was under the leadership of two
prominent Philadelphians, Robert Ralston and Henry Reed, that they were erected. While
both churches’ vestries embraced Ecclesiological Gothic as a means of expressing their
theological convictions, they also used the particularly English architectural character of their
churches as a way to visually set themselves apart from other religious groups in Philadelphia
as congregations with a distinctively English heritage.
Ralston’s and Reed’s personal connections to England and embracement of a specifically
Anglo-American sense of patriotism suggests that the ‘Englishness’ of the churches went
beyond religious concerns and was symptomatic of their desire to project an EnglishAmerican identity in an era of an increasingly diverse social, cultural and ethnic
Philadelphian population. St James the Less and St Mark’s are emblematic of the
dissemination of Gothic Revival aesthetics internationally to America and stand as a
testament to America’s past and present connection to England, a connection epitomised by
the relationship between the Anglican and Episcopal Churches.
NEALE, Anne
is an historian of architecture, gardens, and nineteenth-century art and design, and is an
honorary fellow in the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Tasmania.
Hyperborean Gothic Goes South: Pugin, Ecclesiology, and the timber churches of
Tasmania.
The remote island of Tasmania possesses many timber churches inspired by the mediaeval
architecture of northern Europe. Prominent among them is a group of expressed-frame timber
structures, dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While the influence
of Gothic Revival authorities upon the various timber-building traditions of Queensland, New Zealand, and North America has been examined by several authors, these Tasmanian
churches have received little attention.
Colonial Tasmania drew most of its senior administrators, including church leaders, from
Britain. These men often had excellent connections at ‘Home’, and remained up-to-date with
European developments. The architectural views of A.W.N. Pugin and the Ecclesiologists
were well-known to the leading Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic churchmen, not only
through publications, but often through close personal associations with the protagonists:
Pugin, R.C. Carpenter, G.E. Street, and G.F. Bodley all supplied designs for Tasmanian
churches.
Publications and masonry exemplars undoubtedly assisted in developing local architectural
taste and skill, but timber was the prevalent building material in much of Tasmania. Articles
on mediaeval timber architecture, such as those in the Ecclesiologist in 1849, and
Ecclesiologically-approved designs for new timber churches, prepared by Carpenter and G.G.
Scott c1850, were presumably eagerly perused by sympathetic churchmen. However, with
few exceptions, it was not until the later nineteenth century that Tasmania’s timber churches
moved beyond a naive, if often charming, ‘Carpenter’s Gothic’, and became sophisticated
pieces of architecture.
This paper examines the influence of leading figures in the English Gothic Revival upon
Tasmanian ecclesiastical architecture, and seeks to establish the design origins of the island’s
distinctive expressed-frame timber churches.
NETO, Maria João
is an Associate Professor in the History of Art Institute at University of Lisbon. She has
developed her studies in the area of the theory and practice of architectural restoration.
‘Beckford Hill’ or Monserrate Palace in Sintra, Portugal (1858-64): A Gothic Revival
project inspired by the sense of place
In 1858, the architect James Thomas Knowles (1806-84) initiated the renewal of Monserrate
Palace at the request of Francis Cook, a very rich English businessman and an important
artwork collector. This house, built around 1790, had been inhabited by the famous writer
William Beckford between 1793 and 1795. Mentioned by Byron in Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage (1809), Monserrate became a place of reference for the Romantic Movement.
The original building, a Palladian Gothic structure, follows a longitudinal plan, marked by a
central body and turrets at the ends. Cook instructed Knowles to fully respect the pre-existing
building. The fact that he called the house ‘Beckford Hill’ shows the care he took in
exploring its sense of place. The architect responded with an intelligent design that
incorporated the original structure into a new decorative membrane, reminding us of the
attitude of Leon Battista Alberti at the temple of Rimini. Knowles, who at the time was already working with his son, had an ‘Italianate’ taste allied with the Gothic style and a lush
plant decoration, certainly influenced by John Ruskin. These inclinations were undoubtedly
appealing to Francis Cook. This wealthy businessman viewed himself as an Italian
Renaissance merchant, patron and collector, for whom the works of art were, along with the
aesthetic delight, a symbol of propaganda and power.
The curious Gothic Revival project of Monserrate is, therefore, the result of two ways of
thinking that complemented each other, valuing the sense of place with an array of timeless
structures and ornaments.
RAGUIN, Virginia Chieffo
Is Professor of Art History at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, has
published on stained glass and architecture including Stained Glass from its Origins to the
Present (2003) and the American Corpus Vitrearum volumes.
The Gothic Revival in Stained Glass and the Practitioner’s Influence on Scholars and
Collectors
A.W.N. Pugin’s championing of the Gothic left an indelible mark on the history of collecting
as well as new work in stained glass. Earlier, love of the decorative by gentleman
connoisseurs such as Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill or commitment to religious imagery
by Roman Catholic recusants such as Sir William Jerningham at Costessy Hall motivated
acquisitions of the medium. Pugin’s articulation of the criteria of style realigned the reception
of stained glass. Professionals such as William Warrington, who had worked with Pugin,
illustrated A History of Stained Glass with his own designs in period styles.
Such intervention of the contemporary practitioner in the evaluation and restoration of the
old, and in the promulgation of the modern Gothic, has been revealed through the work of the
Corpus Vitrearum in England, Germany, Belgium and France. High Gothic, as known
through the widely publicised restoration of the Sainte-Chapelle between 1848 and 1857,
emerged as the ideal. Gothic was revived in the United States in the early twentieth century;
the writer Henry Adams urged the collector Isabella Stewart Gardner to purchase Soissons
glass, downplaying previous Italian work. In 1924, the architect and theoretician Ralph
Adams Cram influenced the philanthropist John Nicholas Brown to found the Mediaeval
Academy of America. Collectors and museum directors would come to view the Gothic as
alone embodying ‘true principles’ of the medium, often purchasing fakes while ignoring
impressive later mediaeval and Renaissance panels. This was the style that they had heard
validated by practitioners and witnessed reappearing in the windows around them.REEVE, Matthew M.
is Associate Professor of Art History at Queen's University and a Fellow of the Society of
Antiquaries. A mediaevalist by training, his current work explores the morphology of the
Gothic in eighteenth-century England and particularly in the circle of Horace Walpole.
Rereading the "Origins of the Gothic Revival": Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle
of Horace Walpole
This paper considers the relationship between the idiomatic mode of architecture known as
"Strawberry Hil Gothic" and the history of sexuality. Patronized by members of Walpole's
circle, the Gothic was understood by some in the eighteenth-century as a queer coterie taste
based upon a specific construction of the medieval, Catholic past. This was not only
perceived by contemporaries, but it was also understood by later commentators who elided
Walpole's sexuality with his tastes in the Gothic. This may help us to understand that rather
ambivalent acceptance of Strawberry Hill and related buildings from the historiography of the
Gothic Revival; it also encourages a broader understanding of the status of religion and
sexuality in the morphology of the Gothic on either side of c. 1800. In this paper I will
present evidence for the patronage of architecture within Walpole's Circle, and I will discuss
evidence that allows for a "queer" interpretation of these buildings, with particular reference
to Walpole's own Strawberry Hill, and Dickie Bateman's Gothicization of the "Priory" at Old
Windsor.
RENARD, Thomas
is an historian of art and architecture. He was recently awarded a PhD degree in joint
supervision between the university of Paris-Sorbonne and Ca’ Foscari University with a
thesis entitled Architecture et figures identitaires dans l’Italie unifiée (1861-1921).
Architectural Dantism and national building process in Italy
The sixth centenary of Dante’s death was celebrated in 1921 and was the occasion of
numerous restorations realised throughout Italy and specifically in Florence and Ravenna.
Enhancing the image of the architecture of the late Middle Ages, these celebrations belong to
a late and specific form of Gothic Revival. This paper will look at this event as a
paradigmatic case study – the last act in a broader movement that appeared during the 1880s,
and at the same time, the testing ground for a process of identity creation based on the
architectural forms of Dante’s time and which was to continue under Fascism.
The choice of the buildings that were subjected to restoration was strongly influenced by
what can be referred to as the ‘cult of Dante’, a cultural phenomenon that emerged in the
nineteenth century along with the Risorgimento. The poet became both the symbol of Italian
unification and a powerful mythological standard of the Italian people’s artistic genius. The national cult of Dante was able to give coherence to the multifaceted architecture and the
related genius loci of the Italian Commune.
Studying this ‘architectural Dantism’ may provide an interesting key to understanding a
turning point in the Italian national building process through heritage. At first, national
celebration was mainly pursued through the construction of monuments (such as the
Vittoriano in Rome) and the search for a national style (Camillo Boito). Then, by the
beginning of the twentieth century, ancient buildings and their urban context increasingly
became markers of identity, whose form would eventually be reinvented through a particular
practice of Gothic Revival.
SCHOENEFELDT, Henrik
is a Lecturer at the Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent. After training as an
architect he specialised in the history of environmental design, and he holds an MPhil and
PhD from the University of Cambridge.
The integration of architectural and scientific principles in the design of the Palace of
Westminster.
This paper argues that the Palace of Westminster was the beginning of an inquiry into the
successful integration of architectural and scientific methods of design. This was later
continued in the 1851 Crystal Palace, the Sheepshank Gallery and the Natural History
Museum in London. The author’s research has revealed that scientific methods were
particularly important in resolving complex environmental design issues, the resolution of
which was considered an important requirement.
The design theories of the Gothic Revival played an important part in this process, since they
contributed towards the development of a concept of functionalism that emphasised the
environmental and biological requirements of public buildings. Using the Palace of
Westminster as a case study, this paper will explore this special relationship between the
scientific methods and the architectural principles of the Gothic Revival, with a particular
focus on the role of environmental experimentation. The paper is based on scientific,
architectural and engineering journals, parliamentary papers and transcripts of various
science lectures and interviews with consulting scientist. The first section discusses the
environmental design objectives and how scientists were involved to achieve them. The
second part shows that scientists were involved in the monitoring and recording of the
internal environment and that physicians were employed to study its effect on the mental and
physical condition of the building users. The final paragraph illustrates how these findings
were used to gradually improve the original design as more information about its actual
behaviour was gathered.SEGAL, Einat
see KENAAN-KEDAR, Nurith and SEGAL, Einat
SMITH, Elizabeth B.
is an Associate Professor of Art History at The Pennsylvania State University. She studies
mediaeval architectural design and American collecting of mediaeval art. In 1996 she curated
the exhibition: Mediaeval Art in America: patterns of collecting 1800–1940, at The Palmer
Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University.
Philadelphia and the First Gothic Revival Villa in America: new evidence for the
cultural context
The first Gothic Revival house known to have been built in America was Sedgeley, designed
in 1799 by English-trained Benjamin Latrobe for William Cramond of Philadelphia. For
decades, Latrobe’s house apparently stood alone, sole American example of the Gothic
Revival villa. It is not clear why Cramond chose Gothic rather than Classical, the style
popular in America at that time, and the one for which Latrobe was and is better known. A
parallel and initially unconnected line of research has led to a reconsideration of the cultural
context within which Cramond made his style decision.
In researching American collecting, I identified what is arguably the earliest purchase of
mediaeval art by an American. In 1803, the Philadelphian William Poyntell, a contemporary
of Cramond, purchased in Paris several panels of stained glass from King Louis IX’s SainteChapelle. The trouble and expense incurred in shipping the large, fragile panels across the
Atlantic suggests that Poyntell, a self-made businessman and one of Philadelphia’s mercantile
and civic leaders, may have planned to install them in an architectural setting.
By examining the striking contemporary example provided by Poyntell, this paper attempts to
enlarge and refocus the perspective through which we view Cramond and Sedgeley, and
suggests alternate roots for the Gothic Revival in America. Beginning around 1830, the
novels of Sir Walter Scott would inspire an American fashion for Gothic Revival that
continued throughout the century. Three decades earlier, however, c1800, some American
patrons and architects looked directly at Gothic Revival architecture in England and on the
Continent with keen interest and appreciation.SUNDT, Richard Alfred
is Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon, Eugene. His research focuses on
Gothic architecture in France; Maori churches in New Zealand; and the Gothic Revival in
Argentina.
From Late Gothic to Gothic Revival in Latin America
When the Spanish began colonising the Americas, the Late Gothic was still flourishing in
Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Not surprisingly, the first cathedral erected in the New
World, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), took the form of a rib-vaulted hall-church.
Gothic-style churches were later erected in Mexico and Peru, but the classically inspired
Colonial styles soon displaced Gothic.
In the nineteenth century, Gothic again found favour in the Americas, thanks largely to the
influx of immigrants from northern and southern Europe. The earliest known manifestation of
the Revival in the Latin New World is the now-destroyed Protestant cemetery chapel erected
in Buenos Aires in 1834 for British residents. Its plan and elevation A.W.N. Pugin would not
have approved. Subsequently, Anglicans and other Protestants in Latin America built parish
churches, most of which were designed by British architects who generally adhered closely to
Pugin’s True Principles and the recommendations of the Ecclesiologists. Eventually, the
vogue for Gothic spread to Roman Catholics, and as the most numerous group of Christians,
they had the number and means to raise large-scale churches throughout Latin America.
Some, like La Plata Cathedral, in Argentina, rival Chartres in length and height, and most
were inspired either by French High Gothic or one of the various expressions of Italian
Gothic.
Since the study of the Gothic Revival in Latin America is still in its infancy, much research is
needed before scholars can assess the nature and extent of the region’s contribution to the
development of Neo-Gothic architecture.
TERZOGLOU, Nikolaos-Ion
holds a Diploma of Architecture (2000), an MSc (2001) and a PhD (2005: 2
nd
ICAR-CORA
Prize 2007) from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
A.W.N. Pugin and ‘Functionalism’: towards a new interpretation
For the last five decades, A.W.N. Pugin’s ‘functionalism’ has become a commonplace of
scholarship which is constantly reproduced without further analysis or critical examination.
This supposed ‘functionalism’ of Pugin’s architectural theory is used as the basic argument
for the construction of genealogies connecting the ideas of the protagonist of the Gothic Revival in the nineteenth century with the ideology of the Modern Movement in the
twentieth. Nikolaus Pevsner is a classic example of this line of reasoning. Pugin is thus
presented as a ‘source of modern architecture and design’.
This paper argues that statements such as the above may harbour possible misunderstandings
of the complex nuances within the history of ideas, often disregarding the cultural
environment and conceptual context from which they spring. Based on a systematic reading
of Pugin’s two major treatises, namely Contrasts (1836) and True Principles (1841), I will try
to show that Pevsner’s interpretation is not very well founded, simplifying the real content of
a sophisticated theory. Pugin never mentions the word ‘function’ to denote the use of a
building: instead he speaks of its ‘purpose’, ‘propriety’, ‘arrangement’, ‘destination’ and
‘meaning’.
Consequently, his ‘rationalism’ seems to transcend the materialistic ‘functionalism’ of certain
aspects of modernism and to encompass many social, cultural, ethical and aesthetic ‘roles’ of
architecture. The aim of the present paper is to argue that the term ‘functionalism’ is probably
inadequate to comprehend the different layers of meaning inherent in Pugin’s thought and to
propose a new interpretation of their possible theoretical sources.
THURLBY, Malcolm
is Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, York University, Toronto. His current research
is on English Romanesque and early Gothic architecture and sculpture; and Canadian
nineteenth-century architecture.
Joseph Connolly (1840-1904) and Irish identity in Roman Catholic churches in Ontario
In 1873 Joseph Connolly emigrated from Ireland to Toronto and established an architectural
practice with the architect/surveyor/engineer, Silas James. The partnership lasted until 1877
after which Connolly practised alone until 1896. Trained in Dublin by J.J. McCarthy, the
‘Irish Pugin’, Connolly soon established himself as the preferred architect for Roman
Catholic Church commissions in Ontario, especially for Irish patrons. Prior to his arrival in
Ontario, Roman Catholic churches usually took the form of three-aisled, rib-vaulted basilicas
which looked more like Santa Maria-sopra-Minerva, Rome, than any Irish churches.
Connolly’s designs were quite different and provided his patrons with reminders of the
motherland, churches that ranged from close copies of McCarthy’s works to brilliant, eclectic
creations that demonstrated his profound knowledge of A.W.N. and E.W. Pugin’s churches in
Ireland, Irish mediaeval Gothic, and antiquarian sources such as Francis Grose, Antiquities of
Ireland (1797).
Reference to specific Irish exemplars sets Connolly’s works apart from contemporary
Anglican and nonconformist Gothic churches. While most of his 35 churches are Gothic,
three patrons demanded something different. At Gananoque, Kemptville and Portsmouth,
Connolly created Hiberno-Romanesque designs with strong echoes of A.W.N. Pugin’s St Michael’s, Gorey (Co Wexford), and J.J. McCarthy’s St Mary and St Laurence, Ballitore (Co
Kildare). Our investigation of Connolly’s churches considers how Connolly interpreted
Pugin’s True Principles in association with patrons’ demands for architectural memories of
Ireland, and their place in the context of the Gothic revival internationally.
WALKER, Paul
is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. His researches colonial
museum architecture in Australia, New Zealand and India, and twentieth-century architecture
in Australia and New Zealand.
Gothic principles and colonial style: Robert Chisholm and ‘Indian’ architecture
The colonial experience challenged the communitarian aspect of nineteenth-century English
architectural theory. A.W.N. Pugin’s writings projected an ideal English community based on
a return to shared religious faith and to institutions that reflected the values of that faith; the
writing of John Ruskin and William Morris developed this to project an ideal community
based on equitable socio-economic relations.
Writing on ‘Modern Architecture in India’ in The Builder in 1870, Lord Napier, Governor of
Madras, affirmed the Gothic Revival view, but argued that the ‘harmony’ that could be
achieved by the adoption of Gothic architecture applied only in England. For India, he
theorised, rather than there being one appropriate architecture, the multiplicity of its faiths
and communities would lead to several simultaneously extant styles. Mindful of this view,
Robert Fellowes Chisholm, architect to the Madras government during Napier’s
governorship, developed just such an architectural approach. Like Napier, he avowed his
commitment to Gothic principles, but these were realised in work done in several manners
according to the communities by whom it was intended to be used and by whom it would be
built.
Bearing in mind the narrative of communitarian singularity for England and multiplicity for
the colony, drawn from the Gothic principles to which Chisholm avowed allegiance even late
in his career, the paper will in particular examine apparent paradoxes in Chisholm’s last
known design. This was for a vast ‘Indian Museum’ in ‘Indo-Saracenic’ style, projected as a
memorial for King Edward VII, to be located in London on the south bank of the Thames
across from Whitehall.WEBSTER, Christopher
has published widely on English architecture from the period 1815-45. His main interests are
the period’s stylistic debates and the early work of the Cambridge Camden Society.
Post-Waterloo Church Building: the stylistic debate and its participants
The rise and eventual triumph of Gothic through the first half of the nineteenth century, and
A.W.N. Pugin’s seminal place in that stylistic revolution, now seems axiomatic; the stylistic
shift from the Inwoods’ St Pancras Chapel to Pugin’s chapel in the ‘Antient Poor House’ –
graphically revealed in Contrasts and confirmed in his later church designs – is compelling.
Yet the victory was far from inevitable and certainly not straightforward in the way that it has
so often been portrayed.
The paper draws on its author’s recent research into architectural literature published between
1815 and 1845 which has included works of architectural theory, pattern books, antiquarian
publications and guidebooks, and various periodicals. It will examine three issues: what was
being said about style; how stylistic judgements were justified; and the profession of those
engaged in these debates. Central to the last will be the contrasting opinions of architects,
antiquaries, clergy and laity.
Far from being an architecturally moribund decade, the 1830s emerges as a period of great
vitality. The Greek Revival might have run its course, but Classicism was far from
abandoned. There were those eager to see a Renaissance Revival; others – now almost
entirely forgotten – who believed that a Wren Revival would satisfy the needs of the
Establishment. Some architects – but not many – added the design of Gothic churches to their
repertoire, treading a careful path between antiquarian fidelity on the one hand, and rampant
anti-Roman Catholic sentiment on the other. And, outside the profession, the arrangements
and details of what we now disparagingly refer to as Commissioners’ Gothic was almost
universally accepted without question, especially among the Evangelicals.
The paper is intended to shed new light on the intellectual and architectural climate in which
Pugin launched his career.
YANNI, Carla
is Professor of Art History at Rutgers University. She is the author of The Architecture of
Madness: insane asylums in the US and Nature’s Museums: Victorian science and the
architecture of display.The Vestiges of Architectural Development? Toward a theory of transmutation in the
Gothic Revival
The concept of development dominated theory and practice in the Gothic Revival and, as
scholars have noted, bears some resemblance to scientific notions of transmutation. Part 1 of
this paper builds on the research of David Brownlee, Michael Hall, and Alex Bremner, by
asking more specifically how Robert Chambers’s Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
pertains to architecture. Chambers proposed that ‘existing natural means’ produced “all the
existing organisms’; he also believed that ‘progressive change’ was evident in the way the
fossil record showed simple organisms becoming more complex. Architectural theorists like
Edward Freeman and G.E. Street argued that the history of architecture unfolded gradually,
using processes observable in the present-day. Gothic architecture began with Early English,
became more complex with Decorated, and then most complicated with Perpendicular,
demonstrating progressive change. Part 2 of the talk will ask how theorists who believed in
development explained supposedly backward periods of architecture.
By closely reading a particularly racist section of Vestiges, I will explain that, in Chambers’s
view, while progressive evolution was always moving forward by the hand of God,
degeneration occurred when the local environment impeded forward movement. This type of
argument could also be employed to explain the general tendency toward incremental
progress in architecture, even though some styles (the Renaissance, or even the
Perpendicular, depending on the author) seemed to be going in reverse. In this admittedly
speculative paper, I will suggest that Chambers’s idea of transmutation influenced Gothic
theorists in their presentation of architectural history to science-savvy Victorian audiences.
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:12 pm

Joseph Connolly's Hiberno-Romanesque in Ontario

1. St. John's Church, Ganonque, Ontario

http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/3000643.jpg

http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/60525235.jpg

http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/ObjView/MP-0000.680.12.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-O37yN39x0lU/T8D4rTA51OI/AAAAAAAAXbA/EyyhPBpwTeM/s400/st%2Bjohn%2Bin%2Bgananoque%2Biv.JPG


From Orbis Catholicus
Church of St. John the Evangelist, Gananoque, Canada.

Overlooking the Gananoque River, this lovely Romanesque edifice was constructed in 1889. Copied from a church in Ireland, this magnificent temple was constructed for the sum of $48,000.

The altar came later. How did this fine carra marble, ornamented with Venetian mosaic and Sienna marble arrive?

In 1921, 52 crates containing some 30 tons of material and sections of the new marble altar arrived on railway cars.

Arriving, too, were the Italian artists and artisans from the Deprato Statuary Company (associated with the Pontifical Institute of Christian Art, Pietrasanta, Italy). Finishing their studio work, they installed this beauty, seen here today.


2. Portsmouth, Ontario, St Dismas
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:30 pm

Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:32 pm

Joseph Connolly's Hiberno-Romanesque in Ontario

1. St. John's Church, Ganonque, Ontario

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2093/5792832741_5f1986fe93_z.jpg

Interesting to see Raphael's Disputa on the Sacrament in the apse.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/233/527241306_f0ff87b114.jpg
Praxiteles
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:46 pm

Joseph Connolly's Hiberno-Romanesque in Ontario

3. Holy Cross in Kemptville, Ontario (1888)

This beautiful church, clearly influenced by St. Michael's in Gorey, unfortunately has been wrecked internally:

http://www.ecclesiasticalgroup.com/proj ... cross.html
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