Tuesday, August 09, 2005

My architectural loves.. Warning, pure bias on my part.

Byzantine Gothic anyone?

There's a little discussion going on in the comments section concerning new church architecture.

I'm not sure how our architects will feel, and nor am I certain how this fits in with the NLM per se, but let me share with you my own spectrum of preferences and ideal for ecclesiastical arhitecture. My interest in these two different forms is not exclusive meaning that I am not open to other possibilities, but these would represent two of my favourites.

Specifically, AWN Pugin's great masterpiece, St. Giles in Cheadle: St. Giles, Cheadle, by A.W.N. Pugin

And on the other side (or lung) of the Church, more generally, here is a wonderful example of Byzantine style architecture with its iconographic canons: St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Washington

Those who are interested in ecclesiastical architecture would do very well to study the Christian East, particularly the Byzantine tradition, with its emphasis on the placement of icons in the Church in a way that cannot be described as anything but truly representing a catechism and Bible in stone (or more accurately, paint) -- to paraphrase St. Gregory the Great. While not all such churches follow these canons to the letter, nonetheless, their well developed theology of the image and its correspondence with the church is phenomenal and a highly developed understanding of the place and importance of the sacred image.

I'd recommend a look at Constantine Cavarnos' set "Byzantine Iconography" or Leonid Ouspensky's set, "The Theology of the Icon".

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