Prolific author and architectural historian Denis R. McNamara’s award-winning seminal work combines the traditions and norms of Roman Catholicism with its most public symbol - the church building. McNamara’s book reaches back in history to discover the foundations of Catholic Church architecture and provides a path forward into the future for churches that are redesigning, renovating, or remodeling their facilities. The book is in five parts, each of which discusses a particular aspect of the relationship between Roman Catholic beliefs and architecture. The five parts are theology, scripture, “classic” architecture, icons, and the church in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Architects and building committees within the Roman Catholic tradition in the midst of altering their facilities will find this work helpful as they try to honor their faith traditions, speak to contemporary believers, and make architecturally sound decisions..
Reviewed by Janet Hoover