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Architecture in Communion: Implementing the Second Vatican Council Through Liturgy and Architecture Paperback – April 1, 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706314
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
"Architecture in Communion" is a detailed, yet highly approachable, weaving of theology, liturgy, architectural history, and iconography. Schloeder's vision for a restoration of beauty and meaning in Catholic church design is both original and solidly rooted in the traditions of the faith.
His central premise is that Catholic church architecture is essentially "sacramental", that is to say, the material building is meant to be an icon or an image of the spiritual reality of the Church. Drawing upon sources from Scripture, the Church Fathers, architectural history, conciliar documents, canon law, and the Catechism, Schloeder shows us the symbolical language that has traditionally underpinned Catholic church design, and examines each part of the church (nave, sanctuary, altar, ambo, baptistery, etc.) with respect to its function, traditional form, symbolic meaning, and canonical status.
The book is very nicely illustrated with over 300 photos and illustrations.
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Format: Paperback
Steven Schloeder has written a book in which he attempts to capture what he describes as the 'true spirit of the Second Vatican Council' in architectural design for churches. Schloeder identifies difficulties in theology and liturgy that have, in his opinion, translated also in problem architecturally. With regard to modernism, he states, 'Many prominent Catholic thinkrs have not discerningly separated the wheat from the chaff and have accepted certain secondary issues as primary ones.' Among these are issues of the Eucharist being a sacrificial meal vs. a communal one, or the difference between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of all being downplayed - these and others are issues that he discusses briefly in theological and historical terms, but quickly develops the way in which architecture shapes and is shaped by such ideas.

Schloeder's vision for the book is set out in the introduction: 'Our goal is to enliven the parish community - which is the true Church built of living stones in Christ - with a material church building designed to serve and further the primary vocation to become a community of love, which must mean a people of sacrifice and redemption.' This is a constant theme throughout the entire text, always present in the spirit of the photographs, drawings, and essays.

Even the structure of the book speaks of an underlying theological bent - three clusters of three chapters. The first three chapters explore issues of history, sociology, theology and liturgy with regard to the modern Catholic church building. The nature of the church is a primary consideration when considering what kind of design and structure its physical enclosure and manifestation should bear.
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Format: Paperback
ARCHITECTURE IN COMMUNION gave an excellent insight into the challenges and crises that Catholic church art has faced since the Second Vatican Council. Mr. Schloeder really understands the anguish that many traditional church artisans faced following the aftermath of the Council--when confusion seemed to leave traditional Catholic church arts at a crossroads.
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