Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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For better or worse, an organisation like the catholic church is always going to be bound inextricably to it’s traditions. A lot of people might feel that the church would do well to shed the accretions of centuries and return to the simplicity of it’s beginnings, without riches or trappings. For others it is the continuity with the past two thousand years of tradition that is the key and it is the habits and practices that have attached themselves to the church in that time that give the church it’s special value and meaning.
In that context attempted reforms like Vatican 2 are on a hiding to nothing, they’re seen as either too much, or not enough.
On architectural and heritage grounds alone, the reinstatement of original altar rails and other design features removed in the post Vatican 2 drive to modernize seems like a worthy exercise, with or without a reappraisal of the liturgical considerations.
Personally, I’d have a lot less time for the likes of that American architect/zealot Denis McNamara [link to recent lecture posted by Praxiteles above]
His theory of ‘sacred architecture’, which he seems to share with the equally solvent Duncan Stroik, had so many escape hatches in it that it would probably be impossible to ever nail him down conclusively, but you just know from the deliberate obscurity of language like ”anticipated eschatology” that you’re looking at a shaman in a suit.
The concept of the church “as a building” is not shared by many men of the cloth who see the church essentially as a congregation and a minister, or in its wider context of a world religion.
Any building may be a place of worship once it is properly consecrated and you can have open air masses to suit the times and the conditions.
While there is an undoubted argument that the expression of thought in church architecture creates a typology which has many unique characteristics, so does a theatre or a cinema where the essential function is the same – the crowd facing in one direction to receive the sights, words and music.