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Comment: Condition: Used - Very Good. VG hardback in VG dust jacket Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication Date: 2004. Edition: 1st ed.. Description: This book is available for immediate despatch from UK. No inscriptions or annotations; binding tight; dust jacket protected in removable clear film
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Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley Hardcover – 1 Dec 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st ed. edition (1 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195154665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195154665
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 3.8 x 15.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 966,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Kieckhefer has produced a book to challenge the general concept of the church building ... This is an interesting departure from the more usual commentaries on ecclesiastical architecture, and is to be welcomed. (Julian Litten, Church Times)

... imaginative and fascinating new book. (Beverley Guardian)

About the Author

kieckhefer@northwestern.edu --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Entering a church is a metaphor for entering into a spiritual process: one of procession and return, or of proclamation and response, or of gathering in community and returning to the world outside. Read the first page
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 19 Sept. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps it is because I come from the same background (Western Anglo-Catholic) as the approach from which Richard Kieckhefer comes in this text that I find such a resonance with what he has to say. 'Theology in Stone' looks at various aspects of church design, from the long tradition of church building in Christianity up to the present time. His text begins with four principle factors in basic church design, and then looks in some detail at three particular styles.
The four factors highlighted are not typical architectural concerns, but rather wrapped up in spiritual, theological, and aesthetic values. How does the space work? What is the central and centering focus? Is there an aesthetic impact compatible with the intention of the church? How do symbols function and resonate? There are no universal answers to these types of questions. As Kieckhefer states, 'Response to a church [is] conditioned by culture and by cultural interaction.' Response is also related to expectations, usefulness, the people populating the church, and a number of other concerns. However, perhaps most importantly, response to a church is a learned process that generally 'requires informed reflection. The meanings of a church are seldom obvious.'
With regard to spatial dynamics and centering focus, Kieckhefer states, the purpose of the building is expressed. The symbolic resonance goes to the meaning of the church, and the aesthetic impact relates to the form. Kieckhefer takes classic church architecture ideas and applies them not to the task of planning and building a church as much as to understanding how the buildings function and have meaning for those who use them now. Kieckhefer also differentiates between the issue of what a church has meant and what a church can mean.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Ex cathedra 18 Sept. 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps it is because I come from the same background (Western Anglo-Catholic) as the approach from which Richard Kieckhefer comes in this text that I find such a resonance with what he has to say. 'Theology in Stone' looks at various aspects of church design, from the long tradition of church building in Christianity up to the present time. His text begins with four principle factors in basic church design, and then looks in some detail at three particular styles.

The four factors highlighted are not typical architectural concerns, but rather wrapped up in spiritual, theological, and aesthetic values. How does the space work? What is the central and centering focus? Is there an aesthetic impact compatible with the intention of the church? How do symbols function and resonate? There are no universal answers to these types of questions. As Kieckhefer states, 'Response to a church [is] conditioned by culture and by cultural interaction.' Response is also related to expectations, usefulness, the people populating the church, and a number of other concerns. However, perhaps most importantly, response to a church is a learned process that generally 'requires informed reflection. The meanings of a church are seldom obvious.'

With regard to spatial dynamics and centering focus, Kieckhefer states, the purpose of the building is expressed. The symbolic resonance goes to the meaning of the church, and the aesthetic impact relates to the form. Kieckhefer takes classic church architecture ideas and applies them not to the task of planning and building a church as much as to understanding how the buildings function and have meaning for those who use them now. Kieckhefer also differentiates between the issue of what a church has meant and what a church can mean.

The churches Kieckhefer highlights include Beverly Minster, a church in the then second city of York (York, of course, being the second city, ecclesiastically speaking, of England, after Canterbury). The examination of this church, along with others, takes into account the surrounding community, the geography of the church's placement, and the population that peoples the church. 'The meaning of church architecture can never be read in abstraction from local ethos,' Kieckhefer states. This is also true of Chicago, where there is about as diverse a collection of churches as anywhere else on the planet. Still, there are discernable patterns here, according to Kieckhefer. 'There were three basic approaches to liturgical space in these churches: the design of Roman Catholic churches was appropriate mainly for intercession, that of Protestant churches for proclamation, and that of Eastern Orthodox churches for meditation.' Kieckhefer examines here the churches of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 'a time just before the rise of architectural modernism and liturgical reform.' Kieckhefer's third area of discussion focuses upon the work of Rudolf Schwarz, whose strong, simple designs rely on reinterpretations of classic architectural ideas and embraces liturgical principles both ancient and modern.

Kieckhefer concludes the book with a dicussion of modern issues, doing significant theological reflection, including the tension between modern and traditional designs (both from intention and actual application), movements toward increased congregational participation, and other pulls between orthodoxy and dogmatism (which Kieckhefer describes as being opposites for his purposes here). He sees great resilience in the past, which can give new life and freedom to modern designs.

Kieckhefer writes well, and his arguments are interesting to follow. They tend toward the sacramental side, but has a healthy respect for different views in his presentation. His endnotes are helpful and worthwhile, but a bibliography (even as a simple list) would be helpful. There is a good index, and a number of black-and-white photographs (most done by Kieckhefer himself).

This is a text that will be of interest beyond the architectural crowd, but to any who seek to understand the way in which church architecture has meaning and can mean for the community.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Stone by Stone 22 Aug. 2005
By D. McConeghy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Kieckhefer has done an admirable job trying to create a convincing scholarly narrative for the evolution of church architecture. This work adds to the growing body of texts on religious architecture and stands as an important contribution to the field. My reservations about the book come from its lackluster choice of "illustrative" examples. Kieckhefer has a wealth of examples to choose from and rather than picking the rule picks the exception. This demonstrates the valuable spirit of experimentation and development the field has come to expect of architects, but only scratches the surface of the wealth of architectural patterns that are evident today.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Informativ and presise 15 July 2013
By Ann-Kristin Olsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book give you a good look in church architecture and is written in a good way and easy to understand.
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