Liturgical Art and Architecture

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The church building is a sacrament of God reconciled with humanity, as the Catechism tells us (No. 1180).  It is made up of many members, such as bricks, stones, and steel beams, all arranged within an eschatological glory to provide a place where God dwells with humanity.  Just as we say the altar “is” Christ, so we can say that the church building is a great sacrament of Christ’s many members assembled in their heavenly glory.

This course provides an introduction to Catholic liturgical art and architecture, understanding them as bearers of sacramental realities which participate in the glorification of God and the sanctification of the world. Class sessions discuss foundational sacramental theology, the meaning of the Temple, Early Christian use of the classical tradition, the Baroque, the influence of early liturgical reform, and the recent loss and recovery of traditional design after Vatican II.

Course fee is $97

Liturgical Art and Architecture

Class 1: The Meaning of the Temple

Class 2: Early Christian Art and Architecture

Class 3: Council of Trent and the Baroque

Class 4: Liturgical Movement and Church Architecture

Class 5: The Loss and Recovery of Traditional Architecture After Vatican II

Taught by Dr. Denis McNamara

Dr. Denis McNamara is an Associate Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He is the former Academic Director of the Liturgical Institute. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture with Richard Guy Wilson and Carroll William Westfall.

Dr. McNamara makes a specialty of bridging the gap between the Church’s great artistic tradition and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. He has also done groundbreaking research on scriptural understandings of architecture and the sacramental meaning of the classical architectural tradition.

He is the author Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic ChicagoCatholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course In Christian which was published in eight languages.

Watch the first 5 minutes of the course for FREE

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