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No Place for God: The Denial of the Transcendent in

Modern Church Architecture

Author(s): Moyra Doorly

ISBN13: 9781586171537

ISBN10: 1586171534

Publisher: IGNATIUS PRESS ($)

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  • Once modern science declared the emptiness and meaninglessness of a strictly material universe, it was only a matter of time before architects would adopt the new understanding of space, that is to say that no space is special because none is any different or better than any other.

    In their quest to adapt to and speak to the present age, Catholics over the last forty years have unquestioningly allowed the trends in modern architecture to fashion their churches, and the outcome has been the construction of the ugliest and emptiest churches in history, according to author Moyra Doorly, an architect from England.

    In No Place for God, Doorly traces the principles of modern architecture to the ideas of space that spread rapidly during the twentieth century. She sees a parallel between the desacralization of the heavens, and consequently of our churches, and the mass inward search for a god of ones own. This double movement, away from the transcendent God, who reveals himself to man through Scripture and tradition, and toward an inner truth relevant only to oneself, has emptied our churches, and the worship that takes place within them, of the majesty and beauty that once inspired reverence in both believers and unbelievers alike.

    In non-technical language accompanied by photographs, Doorly explains what has gone wrong with our churches and suggests a simple way to begin rectifying it.
  • Moyra Doorly

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    In No Place for God Moyra Doorly examines the architecture of religious immanence and finds it wanting. The embrace of Modernist architecture by the Church is astonishing given the philosophical underpinnings of its founders and their stated intention of rejecting hierarchy, symbolism and tradition. Contemporary Modernists not only reject the past, but have sought to discredit and destroy it by the stripping of historical churches and the constructing of new ones which have no sense of the sacred. Yet, the Tradition of ecclesiastical architecture continues to speak to the faithful in a way sympathetic to their beliefs and will continue to do so long after the current experiments in Los Angeles, Oakland, Rome, Milwaukee and San Giovanni Rotondo go out of style.

    - Prof. Duncan Stroik


No Place for God: The Denial of the Transcendent in

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