Posted by Richard Haut on February 20, 2003 at 07:33:47:
In Reply to: Re: What does church architecture actually do in culture? Part 2 posted by Rog the Dodge on February 18, 2003 at 14:43:42:
There is a wider aspect to this which may, or may not, be relevant or accurate.
'd' implies that the building itself becomes the object of worship - that cannot be right. It may be seen as a reflection of the glory of a religious faith, but only a reflection. After all, true and meaningful religious devotion is often found in the poorest and most humble of settings.
However, the main point may be that when something is chosen or intended to take the place of religion, of faith, it always seems to fail to find durability. The obvious example was communism. In its original terms it was intended to promote equality and fairness, but was rapidly corrupted into Stalinism and, within eighty years, had begun to fail. Many people then rapidly returned to religion.
What I wonder is if the other side of the fence, capitalism, has started to go the same way. The idea of open trading and working to create one's own wealth has - beyond question - become tainted.
Certainly in Britain and, from what I understand, in many parts of the US the rise of urban alienation, the failure to find a sense of belonging or of community have coincided both with a loss of influence in people's lives of religious faith, and with the dramatic fall in standards of the capitalist world and capitalist ethics.
Maybe we are about to see a resurgence of true religious interest.
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