Jeanne Halgren Kildes survey of church architecture is unlike any other. Her main concern is not the buildings themselves, but rather the dynamic character of Christianity and how church buildings shape and influence the religion. Kilde argues that a primary function of church buildings is to represent and reify three different types of power: divine power, or ideas about God; personal empowerment as manifested in the individuals perceived relationship to the divine; and social power, meaning the relationships between groups such as clergy and laity. Each type intersects with notions of Christian creed, cult, and code, and is represented spatially and materially in church buildings. Kilde explores these categories chronologically, from the early church to the twentieth century. She considers the form, organization, and use of worship rooms; the location of churches; and the interaction between churches and the wider culture. Church buildings have been integral to Christianity, and Kildes important study sheds new light on the way they impact all aspects of the religion.
Neither mere witnesses to transformations of religious thought or nor simple backgrounds for religious practice, Kilde identifies church buildings as dynamic participants in religious change and goldmines of information on Christianity itself.
Buy Sacred Power, Sacred Space book by Jeanne Halgren Kilde from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(235mm x 256mm x 16mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Jeanne Halgren Kilde
Jeanne Halgren Kilde is the author of When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America and co-editor of Rapture, Revelation and the End Times: Understanding the Left Behind Series. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and has taught religious studies and U.S. history at several institutions. She is currently affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota.