How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale
How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale__below

Description

Product Description

Small enough to fit in a pocket yet serious enough to provide real answers, this primer is a must-have for architecture and history buffs, tourists, and churchgoers interested in decoding the styles and symbols of religious buildings. Every building contains clues embedded in its design that identify not only its architectural style but also who designed it, what kind of congregation it was built for, and why. This practical yet charming handbook is the key to decoding the style, history, evolution, and social significance of religious buildings. Not strictly limited to churches, it also covers abbeys, chapels, and monasteries, among other structures. Organized according to architectural element (windows, domes, arches, etc.), each element is presented in chronological order. Additional chapters explore the architectural influence of geography, history, and various creeds, along with an illustrated timeline showing how, where, and in many cases why certain church features evolved through the centuries. There is also a useful introduction to naming each component of a church, from vaults to buttresses and transepts to apses. All entries are illustrated with period engravings and line drawings. This book will be invaluable for architecture buffs and anyone who has ever wondered why classic New England churches are white with little ornament, why Quaker meetinghouses have no altars, or why Episcopalians traditionally favored the Gothic style.

About the Author

Denis McNamara is a former lecturer in architectural history at the University of Virginia and has written two books on Christian architecture. He is currently assistant director of the Liturgical Institute, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
135 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

robin ann
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great little crash course for travel
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019
I bought this to take with me on a trip to Germany and Austria since we planned to visit quite a few churches. I read a couple chapters on the plane, and browsed others. I have very little knowledge of church architecture and my memory of the historical periods is foggy at... See more
I bought this to take with me on a trip to Germany and Austria since we planned to visit quite a few churches. I read a couple chapters on the plane, and browsed others. I have very little knowledge of church architecture and my memory of the historical periods is foggy at best. I wanted something that would jog my memory - main elements of baroque or Gothic for example. This little guide was amazing! There were explanations about how to distinguish a cathedral from a basilica just by looking at the columns. I was able to easily use the guide as a reference as soon as our red-eye flight landed. Even after our trip, this guide was so interesting and clearly written that I''ve enjoyed reading it simply for the pleasure of learning more about the subject. It doesn''t read like it''s been ''dumbed down'' for a complete novice such as myself, so I imagine anyone with an interest in church architecture would enjoy this compact guide.
6 people found this helpful
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fsdbm
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tooooooooooo small
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2021
Although the book has some good information, and is illustrated with superb drawings, I don''t think there has ever been a book that is physically more difficult to read. It''s just a tad over 6" high and 5" wide, so it''s too small to read comfortably, and too big to fit... See more
Although the book has some good information, and is illustrated with superb drawings, I don''t think there has ever been a book that is physically more difficult to read. It''s just a tad over 6" high and 5" wide, so it''s too small to read comfortably, and too big to fit into a pocket. Many of the captions are written in a 6-point font, with a few sections (like the Glossary) even smaller. Its illustrations, while plentiful, are often shrunk down to the size of a postage stamp. Reading glasses don''t help. You''ll need a magnifying glass.
I also found some pertinent information curiously lacking, such as the time periods when styles like Gothic and Baroque were in wide use. And it seemed odd, for example, that the author identified arches as pointed and rounded instead of Gothic and Roman.
I do not recommend the book, but for $13, you''re not wasting money. If it isn''t what you hoped for, it can still point you in the right direction.
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V. Harwood
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very Small Pocket size.
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2018
Its tiny size is a disappointment as are the small B&W pictures which are badly printed with no shadow detail in many if not most of them. That said it is a convenient size to carry while travelling. The descriptions are helpful but unremarkable. It can be chucked at the... See more
Its tiny size is a disappointment as are the small B&W pictures which are badly printed with no shadow detail in many if not most of them. That said it is a convenient size to carry while travelling. The descriptions are helpful but unremarkable. It can be chucked at the end of your trip.
5 people found this helpful
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Zhan W
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful, elegant and informative
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2018
One of my favorite readings in the recent years. This is not a storytelling book but rather of pocket reference style. It is very well organized and succinctly written. Though small, it reveals a lot of hidden knowledge of churches. After reading this book whenever I go to... See more
One of my favorite readings in the recent years. This is not a storytelling book but rather of pocket reference style. It is very well organized and succinctly written. Though small, it reveals a lot of hidden knowledge of churches. After reading this book whenever I go to a church in my trips I find much more than before. The making of the book is delicate and I especially like the drawings. Beautiful, elegant and very informative cute book.
3 people found this helpful
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Kensington
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great little book on church architecture
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2021
I love this little book. Note the “little” part. It is indeed small and the font is likewise small, but it’s portable. It’s filled with super interesting facts about churches. I love how it has small snippets of information with a drawing to illustrate the point. No... See more
I love this little book. Note the “little” part. It is indeed small and the font is likewise small, but it’s portable. It’s filled with super interesting facts about churches. I love how it has small snippets of information with a drawing to illustrate the point. No super long paragraphs and wondering what all that meant. Just remember: it’s small!
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Zach
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ignore the naysayers
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2021
This is a wonderful little book. I almost didn''t purchase it myself because of all the reviewers denigrating it for its typography and layout: they claim the text is too small; the pictures are subpar- none of this is true. Ignore these people; there is a lot of information... See more
This is a wonderful little book. I almost didn''t purchase it myself because of all the reviewers denigrating it for its typography and layout: they claim the text is too small; the pictures are subpar- none of this is true. Ignore these people; there is a lot of information packed into this little book in a succinct format and it is well worth the money.
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YogaDesires
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My husband loves this small sized book
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2019
This book is the perfect size to throw in a bag and hit the ground walking in a new city. My husband loves looking at churches. He said he has already learned so much about why each magnificent detail of a church was created. Perfect gift
One person found this helpful
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Mikaela Ritter
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s a tiny novelty book
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2020
I was very disappointed when it came and was pocket sized. The print is so small and the book doesn''t open all the way. The info is more superficial, and there are a lot of pictures and not a lot of explanations. I was hoping for this to be a more serious work, and this is... See more
I was very disappointed when it came and was pocket sized. The print is so small and the book doesn''t open all the way. The info is more superficial, and there are a lot of pictures and not a lot of explanations. I was hoping for this to be a more serious work, and this is meant for kids or hobbyists.
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2019
Excellent pocket sized book
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Pierre Gauthier
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Incredible Value!
Reviewed in Canada on June 9, 2012
This small, easily portable book introduces a wide scope of topics pertaining to the architecture of churches, all the way from floor plans to stained glass. Its apparent simplicity clearly derives from major research and editorial work. The text is short and to the point...See more
This small, easily portable book introduces a wide scope of topics pertaining to the architecture of churches, all the way from floor plans to stained glass. Its apparent simplicity clearly derives from major research and editorial work. The text is short and to the point and emphasis is placed on illustrations. Consistently, these are monochrome drawings. They succeed in focussing attention on concepts rather than on individual buildings as photographs would have. The lay-out is both contemporary and attractive. This work is very strongly recommended, both as an introduction or a refresher on the topic and as a travel companion.
7 people found this helpful
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Joy Llewellyn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Informative, beautiful sketch illustrations, and a trip through church architectural history.
Reviewed in Canada on May 17, 2018
This was a fascinating book. I could not believe how much information is packed on the pages of this small book. I wanted to immediately buy more copies to give out as gifts to friends who I knew would appreciate the sketches, the information, the history lesson....See more
This was a fascinating book. I could not believe how much information is packed on the pages of this small book. I wanted to immediately buy more copies to give out as gifts to friends who I knew would appreciate the sketches, the information, the history lesson. Recommended!
One person found this helpful
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Drakken75
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
5 stars for content
Reviewed in Canada on October 9, 2013
if the book wasn''t so tiny it would get 5 stars! I was hoping for a full size book, but even though its only about 6 inches tall, its packed full of information and diagrams. Awesome!
One person found this helpful
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How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale

How to Read Churches: A new arrival Crash Course in Ecclesiastical sale Architecture sale