The Search for a Better Church Building

Jay M. Price

in Temples for a Modern God

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925957
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980482 | DOI:
The Search for a Better Church Building

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The first chapter begins this study with the emergence of a movement to improve religious architecture among a fragmented, disparate set of groups and individuals in the 1920s. Their efforts had some effect but were not coordinated or organized enough to handle the 1920s building boom; however, they did shape a conversation about how sacred space should function. These voices started coming together, ironically, during the Great Depression. With a frenzied pace of church construction over, there was time for Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish thinkers about sacred space to come together to promote a better, more thought-out building program. Catholic groups such as the Liturgical Arts Society emerged along with journals such as Church Property Administration. Protestant ecumenical efforts meanwhile, catapulted the careers of consultants such as Elbert Conover and Frederick Roth Webber.

Keywords: consultant; 1920s; liturgical renewal; depression; small church; Catholic Property Administration; Church Property Administration; Conover; Lavanoux

Chapter.  11690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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