Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beyond the Meeting House

Here's a portion of Lauren Winner's contribution to For the Beauty of the Church:
As a wealth of fairly recent research into the visual and material culture of North American Protestantism makes clear, the caricatured plain white New England meeting house is not the end (or even the beginning) of the story. A different beginning may be found in the Anglican houses of worship of the early South. As Louis Nelson has recently argued, Anglicans in colonial South Carolina had a theology of beauty. They "understood earthly beauty to be a shadow of its divine original" and they preached sermons that "declared the beauty of holiness." In turn they built church buildings that expressed contemporary aesthetic virtues of "regularity, beauty, and stability." They filled those churches with finely crafted silver litrugical implements and paintings of angels that turned worshipers' imaginations to the supernatural.
Nelson's The Beauty of Holiness sounds like quite the publication. 

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