Modern Architecture and Religious Communities, 1850-1970
Building the Kingdom
Social groups formed around shared religious beliefs encountered significant change and challenges between the 1860s and the 1970s. This book is the first collection of essays of its kind to take a broad, thematically-driven case study approach to this genre of architecture and its associated visual culture and communal experience. Examples range from Nuns’ holy spaces celebrating the life of St Theresa of Lisieux to utopian American desert communities and their reliance on the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin.
Modern religious architecture converses with a broad spectrum of social, anthropological, cultural and theological discourses and the authors engage with them rigorously and innovatively. As such, new readings of sacred spaces offer new angles and perspectives on some of the dominant narratives of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries: empire, urban expansion, pluralism and modernity. In a post-traditional landscape, religious architecture suggests expansive ways of exploring themes including nostalgia and revivalism; engineering and technological innovation; prayer and spiritual experimentation; and the beauty of holiness for a brave new world. Shaped by the tensions and anxieties of the modern era and powerfully expressed in the space and material culture of faith, the architecture presented here creates a set of new turning points in the history of the built environment.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Building the Kingdom: Architecture, Worship, and the Sacred, Kate Jordan and Ayla Lepine Part I. Pilgrimage and Modern Journeys 1 Sisterly Love in Lisieux: Building the Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse, Jessica Basciano 2 Modernity Consecrated: Architectural Discourse and the Catholic Imagination in Franquista Spain, María González Pendás 3 The Construction of Modern Montserrat: Architecture, Politics and Ideology, Josep-Maria Garcia Fuentes 4 Paolo Soleri’s Teilhard De Chardin Cloister at Arcosanti, Alicia Imperiale Part II. Monasticism and Religious Houses 5 Prairie Progressivism: George P. Stauduhar and St. Benedict’s Convent, Barbara Burlison Mooney 6 Modern, Gothic, Anglican: The Society of St John the Evangelist, Oxford, Ayla Lepine 7 Constructing Identity: The ‘Building Nuns’ of Presteigne, Kate Jordan 8 Revolution and Revelation: Luis Barragán’s Monastery at Tlalpan, Jose Bernardi Part III. Urban Cultures and Holy Cities 9 Situating Jerusalem: Poesis and Techne in the American Urbanism of Jemima Wilkinson and Thomas Jefferson, Anne Englot 10 Origins, Meaning and Memory in Louis Kahn’s Hurva Synagogue Proposal, Tamara Morgenstern 11 Chicago’s Woodlawn Neighbourhood: The Case of St Gelasiusm, Anatole Upart 12 Nuns in the Suburb: The Berlaymont Institute in Waterloo by Groupe Structures, Sven Sterken
Kate Jordan is a lecturer in history and theory in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Westminster. She regularly lectures at the V&A and previously taught architectural history at Queen Mary University of London. She wrote her doctoral thesis (UCL) on the role of nuns in the design and construction of nineteenth and twentieth-century convents - a subject upon which she has published and given numerous conference papers. Her current field of research is Benedictine architecture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is a former member of the Education Sub-committee of The Society of Architectural Historians Great Britain and currently serves on the Twentieth Century Society’s Casework Committee.
Ayla Lepine is a Visiting Fellow in Art History at the University of Essex. Her research focuses on the Gothic Revival and modern medievalism. She is Arts Editor of the Marginalia Review of Books and a trustee of Art and Christianity Enquiry. She has published on Anglican monasticism, sacred visual culture, and the meanings of modern Gothic imagery in Architectural History, Visual Resources, Music and Modernism, The New Elizabethan Age, the Oxford History of Anglicanism, and the Church Times. She has co-edited Gothic Legacies: 400 Years of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture (with Laura Cleaver, 2012) and Revival: Identities, Memories, Utopias (with Matt Lodder and Rosalind McKever, 2015).