Sacred Space and Structural Style: The Embodiment of Socio-religious Ideology
During the nineteenth century there was a widely held consensus that Christian beliefs could, and indeed should, be incorporated in the tangible fabric of a church building. Still, the architecture this belief engendered remains largely unexplored. While many nineteenth-century Christians agreed that "Gothic architecture" was synonymous with "Christian architecture," there was less agreement as to what constituted a good Christian or appropriate Gothic. In this study, Vicki Bennett argues that the architectural style held to embody the principles of a multiform faith often reflected a similar degree of diversity.
Writing from a socio-religious perspective, and building on a detailed investigation of stylistic trends, Bennett demonstrates how Christians in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec used architectural symbolism in relation to their understanding of both the material and spiritual worlds. As one of the few major studies to examine the church-building activities of an important geographic area in its entirety, the meticulous documentation and interdisciplinary approach of this study offer an innovative contribution to our understanding of the religious, social, and architectural climate of nineteenth century Central Canada.
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Map of the Ottawa Valley
THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH EDIFICE
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