Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Deep Conversation meme

I found this over at the Rome of the West blogspot. Not many pub conversations in my list.

  • Saints
    Philip Neri
    Francis Xavier
    Thomas More
    Ignatius Loyola
  • To be Canonized
    Marcel Lefebvre (... in a few hundred years maybe!).
    John Henry Cardinal Newman
    John XXIII ( to ask, did you really say 'Stop the Council! Stop the Council!'?)
  • British Heroes
    Henry V
    Guy Fawkes ( Kidding, I think!).
    John Fisher
    Churchill, after the first Pol Roger of the day.
  • Authors/Writers
    Graham Greene & Evelyn Waugh, together.
    Auberon Waugh & Mark Steyn, again together.
    Augustine & Plato together (heavy...).
  • Celebrities
    Pope Benedict XVI ( When are we going to get the indult?) Bush 43, maybe with Vlad Putin.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vacanza Lunga

It seems a little perverse to make the first update only to say that I am off on hols for a month. I'm going to Puglia in southern Italy, where my parents have a small house. So, if anyone is passing, this is the reason I will not be commenting on other more serious and committed blogs.

I'm going by car and I hope to see a number of places that touch on material for my dissertation: I plan to visit the duomo in Milan in order to take some better pictures of the drastic alterations to the sanctuary. Hopefully a better intervention will be found in the cathedral of Parma, where a new ambo, cathedra and footpace for the altar either have been or are in the course of being installed.

I also plan to visit the new cathedral in Taranto by Gio Ponti, finished in 1971 (I think) and conceived over a tumultuous period: Should be interesting.

If anyone is passing through, I would be most appreciative of any pictures or other visual or textual information on (Catholic) church reorderings. I would also be grateful for any pictures of modern/contemporary architecture churches.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Modernist Architecture and the classical Catholic Liturgy?

Most people who favour the classical Roman Rite do not have particularly warm feelings towards modern(ist) church architecture. It is in many cases, often justifiably, associated with the banal and commonplace, or else with the impoverishment and subversion of existing churches built in revival styles.

However, I believe that the languages of contemporary architecture can be marshalled in the cause of traditional liturgy and with the 're-enchantment' of the modern mass. Although he had some slightly strange ideas and an eccentric ecclesiology the church buildings of Rudolf Schwarz demonstrate that it is possible to cultivate an aesthetic and iconographic affinity between these two apparently irreconcilable ideologies. In Schwarz's built works and writings he pre-empted the now commonplace decoupling of the aesthetic of 'modernism' from the left-wing political ideas which were routinely used to underpin the movement both before and after the Second World War. Of course, 'Modernism' was never a singular movement from the start.

I respect entirely those traditionally-minded Catholics who associate a Christian architectural idiom with the revival of a historical style. But I believe that, despite the horror stories, banalities, the high-minded and unloved brutalist boxes, contemporary architecture can lend its poetics, sense and use of materials and space-making in the cause of the traditional Roman Rite.