Architecture and Theology: The Art of Place by Murray A. Rae
BY AYLA LEPINE on November 2, 2018
IN A speech after the bombing of the House of Commons in 1943, Winston Churchill reminded his listeners: “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” Architecture does not merely serve our basic needs — whether personal or communal — but is an expression of shared cultural values. Whether contemplating Vitruvius’s Classical ideals, Baroque Roman Catholic churches, or Louis Kahn’s modern concrete monuments, the resonances between belief and the built environment can and should be interpreted in theological terms.
In Murray A. Rae’s Architecture and Theology: The art of place, the author makes connections between buildings and beliefs across a huge range of societies and periods. He tells the story of Christianity in society by focusing not only on religion’s impact on architecture, but also through discussions of urbanism as a whole. Architecture and Theology opens with a lucid exploration of what “dwelling” means for communities, and moves towards ways of understanding freedom, renewal, belonging, and time by showing how theological architecture is, and how architectural theology is.