Saturday, February 06, 2010

Hillenbrand Lecture by Dr. Denis McNamara: Gothic Architecture and the Inheritance of the Temple

Fr. Rob Johansen who is presently undertaking studies at the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, has done a post on his blog about a recent Hillenbrand lecture give by Dr. Denis McNamara on the subject of "Gothic Architecture and the Inheritance of the Temple."

Fr. Johansen summarizes Dr. McNamara's talk accordingly: "Dr, McNamara showed how the legacy of architectural symbolism of the Jewish Temple was taken up by the early Christian church and continued to inform the language of Gothic architecture. He continues:

"McNamara’s study of Gothic architecture led him to believe that the architects and builders of the Middle Ages were deliberately using Temple themes to show the fulfillment of the Old Testament and its people in the New Covenant of Christ and his Church.

"McNamara asked the question:

Why make a medieval church look like this? Is it just that Constantine dumped all of the imperial court ritual on to the simple fellowship meals that the early Christians are supposed to have had, and ruined the purity of the early Church? That’s the dominant, mainstream thought in architecture for the past 30 to 40 years. Or is there something more? I would argue that there is something more.

Read Fr. Johansen's full summary here: A Jeweled Garden Where the Angels Live: The Hillenbrand Lecture at the Liturgical Institute

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