From Publishers Weekly
With some books, the title says it all. In Ugly as Sin: Why They Changed Our Churches from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces and How We Can Change Them Back Again, Michael S. Rose rails against the post-Vatican II aesthetic which has, in his opinion, created churches that are "ugly," "banal" and "uninspiring." Looking at the 80 photographs that are interspersed throughout, one has to admit he has a good point; when he notes that one modern tabernacle looks like a birdfeeder, for example, he's right on the money. Readers will never doubt that Rose's agenda is to return to the halcyon days of Catholic architecture, but even those who disagree will appreciate his entry-level explanations of key architectural concepts and straightforward writing style.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Architectural theology may be something you have never considered, but editor and writer Rose (Renovation Manipulation) has, and here he explains why it is important to Catholic worshipers. Rose gives evidence on how new-style Catholic churches based on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Environment and Art in Catholic Worship (Liturgy Training Pubns., 1993) reflect liturgical reductionism. He begins with three natural laws used in evaluating local churches: verticality (reaching to the heavens), permanence (transcending space and time), and iconography (the building itself as art). Modern church architect Edward A. Sovik is cited for fashioning an architectural change that negated these three laws and created a nondenominational meeting space. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) encouraged active participation in the Mass, which, Rose argues, has resulted in a modern nonchurch. Rose's previous book was a call to action for Catholic laity and clerics to restore the sacred, while this book is more encompassing, ranging from a history of Catholic church architecture to restoration and preservation. For students of architecture and larger Catholic religion collections. Leo Kriz, West Des Moines P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.