Shadow, Image and Reality:
The Church as Sacramental Building

A lecture by Dr. Denis R. McNamara
Co-sponsored by the Institute of Catholic Culture
Saturday, May 1st at 7:30pm

St. Thomas a Becket Roman Catholic Church
1421 Wiehle Avenue, Reston VA 20190

Free Admission

While many are inclined to think of a church building as a merely neutral setting for liturgical rites, Dr. Denis R. McNamara, author of the upcoming title Catholic Church Architecture and The Spirit of the Liturgy, will introduce the concept of "architectural theology" to the study of church design. His research reveals that liturgical art and architecture can play an active role in a worshipper's full and conscious participation in the liturgy by embodying the notions of fulfilled typologies of the Old Testament as well as the anticipated glory of the Heaven. Learn how the classical tradition can be inculturated to blend with scriptural precedent to make church buildings which please the eye, engage with tradition, aid in liturgical participation, and delight the soul.

Denis R. McNamara, Ph.D. is an architectural historian specializing in American church architecture.  He is the assistant director at the Liturgical Institute of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, and serves as a liturgical design consultant. Dr. McNamara is the author of numerous articles on art and architecture. His book Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago (2005) appeared on the Catholic Bestseller List and won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Booksellers Association as well as two first place awards from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. His newest book, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, was released in December of 2009.

*The Foundation for Sacred Arts would like to thank the The Bricks and Mortar Foundation and McCrery Architects for their generosity in making this event possible. For more information on the Institute of Catholic Culture, please click here.

Back to Current Events