Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Triumph of the Medieval Mind

Front Cover
Random House, Aug 31, 2011 - History - 336 pages
1 Review

In the twelfth century, Christians in Europe began to build a completely new kind of church - soaring, spacious monuments flooded with light from immense windows. These were the first Gothic churches, the crowning example of which was the cathedral of Chartres: a revolution in thought embodied in stone and glass, and a bridge between the ancient and modern worlds.

In Universe of Stone, Philip Ball explains the genesis and development of the Gothic style. He argues that it signified a profound change in the social, intellectual and theological climate of Western Christendom. As the church represented nothing less than a vision of heaven on earth, this shift in architectural style marked the beginning of the argument between faith and reason which continues today, and of a scientific view of the world that threatened to dispense with God altogether.

What people are saying - Write a review

UNIVERSE OF STONE: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The intellectual revolution in medieval France, as embodied in the architecture of a great cathedral.Nature consulting editor Ball (The Devil's Doctor: Paracelcus and the World of Renaissance Magic ... Read full review

A Fascinating Biography of Chartes Cathedral

User Review  - Brian, Merch - Borders

For the lovers of BRUNELLESCHI’S DOME and MICHELANGELO AND THE POPE’S CEILING, or even of Huysman’s CATHEDRAL, this biography of Chartres Cathedral will prove a delight. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Philip Ball writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and worked for many years as an editor for physical sciences at Nature. His books cover a wide range of scientific and cultural phenomena, and include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Serving The Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Science Under Hitler and Invisible: The history of the Unseen from Plato to Particle Physics.

Bibliographic information