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How to Read a Church - A Guide to Symbols, Images, and Rituals

Item Number: 20626

Catalog Code: 97815876803046-2-DIS

Product Details
H x W x D: 

8"  (20.3 cm) x 5"  (12.7 cm) x 0"  More HiddenSpring Gifts

Purchase Information

Your Price: $18.00

Format:      Paperback   

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Review Provided By - THE Catholic Book Review Site Average Rating: This item received 4 stars overall.
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 Our Description

Churches and cathedrals were originally built to be read.  They are alive with images and symbols - all of which are packed with meaning.  But today few people, from regular visitors to tourists, truly understand the wealth of meaning in what they find there.

How to Read a Church is must reading for anybody who wants to know more about what they see in a church or cathedral.  It explores the principal features of churches and what each represents.  It also explains:

  • the significance of church layout
  • the importance of such details as the use of colors or letters
  • the identity and significance of people and scenes
  • the symbolism of animals, plants, numbers, and letters
  • the meaning of it all

In addition to exploring these brick-and-mortar motifs, the author also reveals fascinating and unexpected details such as how to 'read' the priest and the congregation, and he shows the varied ways that church architecture and appointments reflect the Christian year.  From major themes to small but vital details, How to Read a Church will serve as a fascinating guide to the history, meanings, and messages of these beautiful buildings and the treasures they contain.

Review Provided By - THE Catholic Book Review Site

This item received 4 stars overall. A good primer; thorough while not encyclopedic, but having a rather uncertain target audience.

As an architect focused on the renewal of Catholic sacred architecture, I enjoyed How to Read a Church quite a bit.  Author Richard Taylor presents the material well, in a readable manner, and the list of subject matter is quite thorough.  Simple b/w illustrations are provided throuhgout with several plates of grayscale photography in the center of the book - all of which are crucial for a work describing saints and symbols in ecclesiastical art and architecture.
The readership seems to be the real question here.  The volume is perhaps small enough for a pilgrim to carry along for a journey to visit the churches of western Europe, but the impression one has is that this book is more applicable for the student than for the traveller.
The book does a good job of referencing scriptural foundations for symbols, but is u Full Review...

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