When Church Became Theatre The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America

by Jeanne Halgren Kilde. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Kilde explores the late 19th century Protestant architecture move to “auditorium churches.” Characteristic of this style were buildings that featured prominent stages and sloped sanctuary floors. The focus was on performance and entertainment. The book is illustrated with interior and exterior pictures of churches reflecting the “auditorium” design, including the reemergence of this style in the late 20th century in mega churches such as Willow Creek and the Crystal Cathedral. Persons interested in American religion and the relationship between church buildings and cultural changes will find this a fascinating read. (From SSGI Resource Booklet, Spring 2005.)