We Catholics love our Churches. But most of us know very little about architecture or the other elements that a beautiful Church is made of. Most of us don’t even have the vocabulary.
But now there is an answer!!
CMR’s own Denis McNamara, known here as occasional blogger D Mac, has a new book out, just a few weeks old, called “How to Read Churches: A Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture.” You may remember his other book on church architecture, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, which had the unusual honor of having testimonials from Scott Hahn and Cardinal Burke, yet still somehow managed to win an award from the Catholic Press Association.
This new book is a pocket-sized paperback full of images and interesting tidbits about church architecture including biblical architectural inspirations, a grammar of styles, and sections on materials, images and liturgical arts. He jokingly calls it “bathroom reading for church architecture.” In any case, it only cost 12 bucks and is a great introduction for someone looking for a start in understanding church architecture.
Interesting, too, is one of the recent reviews of the new book, from Sheridan Road, a magazine for wealthy seculars who live in the posh suburbs north of Chicago:
“Heavenly: It’s a funny thing; take even the most secular amongst us, who haven’t darkened the doors of their own local church, synagogue, or mosque in decades, put them in Europe, and watch them pop in and out of cathedrals, closes, and quaint village churches like so many jumping jacks. It’s as if we feel we haven’t truly experienced England—say, or France—unless we’ve logged the hours within their cloisters. All of which actually makes perfect sense when one considers the fact that Europe—and indeed the world—was literally built around a series of ecclesiastical, architectural bases. Which is why this charming new book, How to Read Churches: A Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture, by Denis McNamara, is the perfect travel companion for anyone looking to have the most cultivated cocktail-party chatter this spring.“
I guess cocktail party chatter about the faith and its architecture is better than nothing.
So, all of us want to know about this stuff but the idea of reading textbooks on the subject is too daunting. This book makes it easy.
C’mon. You know you want to . Buy this book!