Monday, September 08, 2014

Decoding the Christian Temple: One-day Conference on Church Architecture at Mundelein

For those in the midwest (or willing to travel), I would like to let you know about an upcoming sacred Architecture conference coming up at the end of this month with a friend of the CMAA, Dr. Denis McNamara, and others. I am seriously considering attending this, considering my interest in all things liturgical and ecclesiastical, schedule permitting. It looks fascinating. Full press release below, and more information at their website.
Is your church beige, boring and forgettable? Chances are, it hasn't been thought of as a sacramental building and its architects probably didn't know the Temple roots of church architecture.

Mundelein, IL—To help answer this need, the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, IL announces a one-day conference on church architecture on September 26, 2014, sacramental theologian, author and speaker Fr. Douglas Martis; eminent architectural historian, author and speaker Dr. Denis McNamara; and Office of Worship Director, author and speaker Christopher Carstens will be the featured speakers at a one-day conference at the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, IL.

The title of this conference, Decoding the Christian Temple: Church Architecture and Its Place in Christian Worship is meant to be intriguing on several levels. First of all, "decoding" implies that architecture is iconic and legible, giving the worshipper something to know and understand about God. Second, the word "temple" is a conscious choice, since the often-forgotten roots of church architecture come in large part from the Temple of Solomon, the place of God's dwelling with humanity and a highly symbolic building which represented the New Heavens and the New Earth. To enter the Temple was to leave space and time, walk about on the glorified earth, then go into the presence of God in an architectural rendition of heaven. Moreover, this theology is roundly present in the Rites of the Church, especially the Rite of Dedication of a Church and Altar.

This conference will provide architects, artists, building committees, RCIA Leaders, educators and all who love the Church’s artistic tradition with the foundational theology of art and architecture as provided for us in the Church’s ritual books. If you have ever prayed in a church, this conference will be of interest to you.

This conference will feature four sessions:
  1. The Rite for the Dedication of a Church: The Key for Decoding the Christian Temple: Fr. Douglas Martis
  2. From Temple to Eschaton: The Church Building As Image of the Mystical Body of Christ: Dr. Denis McNamara
  3. Thorny Issues: Seating Plans, Tabernacles, Choirs and More: Christopher Carstens and Dr. Denis McNamara
    • Part I: Encountering the Mystery: Altar, Ambo, Portal, Font
    • Part II: Q&A on Seating Plans, Tabernacles, Choirs and More
  4. From Brown Brick to Radiant Gems: Building the Second Vatican Council’s Heavenly Vision: Dr. Denis McNamara
Date: September 26, 2014; register here.
Where: University of St. Mary of the Lake Conference Center
1000 E. Maple
Mundelein, IL 60060

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