There have been many histories of Christian art and architecture, and many that have paid attention to the various cultural, social, and economic contexts in which the architecture and art appeared. Most of these accounts have been written by art historians. Kevin Seasoltz writes as a theologian, whose aim is to relate theological and liturgical developments throughout the course of Christian history to developments in sacred architecture and art. Believing that sacred buildings and artifacts have often been more constitutive of theological developments that constitutive of them, Seasoltz wants to help people discover architecture and art as theological loci - places of revelation. Following a chapter on culture as the context for theology, liturgy, and art, Seasoltz surveys developments from the early church up through the conventional artistic styles and periods.
He pays particular attention to the conflicts that emerged between religion and art since the Enlightenment and to the significant advances made since the middle of the twentieth century to reconciling a wide range of competent architects, artists, and craft persons to the ministry of the Protestant, Anglican, and Catholic churches. Comprehensive, illuminating, ecumenical.
Table of Contents
1. Culture: The Context for Theology, Liturgy, Sacred Architecture and Art; 2. The Responses of the Churches to Cultural Shifts; 3. Sacred Architecture and Art in the Bible and the Early History of the Church; 4. Theology, Liturgy, and Sacred Architecture and Art in the Post-Constantinian; 5. Church; 6. Theology and Romanesque and Gothic Architecture and Art; 7. Renaissance, Baroque, and Reformation Periods; 8. Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries; 9. Architectural and Liturgical Reforms in the First Half of the Twentieth Century; 10. Liturgy and Sacred Architecture and Art Since World War II; 11. Twentieth-Century Monastic Architecture; 12. Sacred Art from 1900 to the Present; 13. Conclusions
Kevin Seasoltz, OSB, is perhaps the leading Roman Catholic liturgical scholar in the English-speaking world. Editor of Worship for 18 years, professor of liturgy at the Catholic University of America for 25 years, and now professor of liturgy at St. Johns's University, Collegeville, he is the author of 4 books and over 200 academic articles and has lectured extensively throughout the English-speaking world.