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American Catholics and the Church of TomorrowBuilding Churches for the Future, 1925-1975$
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Catherine R. Osborne

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226561028

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226561165.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Modeling the Church

Modeling the Church

(p.49) Chapter Two Modeling the Church
American Catholics and the Church of Tomorrow

Catherine R. Osborne

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that modernist architects engaged in a substantial theological argument about the nature and purpose of the Church, one that unfolded in large part through visual means. They sought to convince a wide variety of audiences that church buildings would look different in the future because they would, fundamentally, be different: the building would both represent and bring into being a new kind of worshiping community. Using the tools of their trade—the models, drawings, photographs, and other representations sometimes known as paper architecture—they sought to make their hoped-for changes seem at once natural, welcome, and inevitable. The chapter explores the use of architectural models, photos, plans, drawings, etc. as publicity tools and as media for the development of architects' own ideas. It examines "prototype" models (models not intended for a specific site) as theological arguments for a specific ecclesiological future. The chapter examines magazines, books, lectures, and exhibitions as methods for building public support for modernist church architecture.

Keywords:   architectural models, ecclesiology, exhibitions, paper architecture, liturgical movement

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