Chapter

Church Becomes Theatre

Jeanne Halgren Kilde

in When Church Became Theatre

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143416
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834372 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195143418.003.0005
Church Becomes Theatre

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The widespread adoption of the neomedieval auditorium church style by evangelicals after the Civil War attests to the strength and hegemony of evangelical consensus and community during the period. On the basis of the amphitheater, the auditorium sanctuary featured a sloped floor, curvilinear pews, and a prominent stage housing a pulpit, choir seating, and organ case. Echoing the opera houses and theaters that the middle classes were increasingly patronizing, this plan facilitated the infusion of professionally performed music into worship services and suggested an equality among audience members, all of whom could readily see and hear the service.

Keywords: amphitheater; auditorium church; music; opera houses; organ; pews; sanctuary; theater; worship

Chapter.  13921 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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