Temples for a Modern God

Religious Architecture in Postwar America

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Jay M. Price
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , April
     2018.
     288 pages.
     $35.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780190872908.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Bärbel Beinhauer-Köhler forthcoming.

Description

Temples for a Modern God is one of the first major studies of American religious architecture in the postwar period, and it reveals the diverse and complicated set of issues that emerged just as one of the nation's biggest building booms unfolded. Jay Price tells the story of how a movement consisting of denominational architectural bureaus, freelance consultants, architects, professional and religious organizations, religious building journals, professional conferences, artistic studios, and specialized businesses came to have a profound influence on the nature of sacred space. Debates over architectural style coincided with equally significant changes in worship practice. Meanwhile, suburbanization and the baby boom required a new type of worship facility, one that had to attract members and serve a social role as much as honor the Divine. Price uses religious architecture to explore how Mainline Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and other traditions moved beyond their ethnic, regional, and cultural enclaves to create a built environment that was simultaneously intertwined with technology and social change, yet rooted in a fluid and shifting sense of tradition. Price argues that these structures, as often mocked as loved, were physical embodiments of a significant, if underappreciated, era in American religious history.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jay M. Price directs the Public History Program at Wichita State University. His publications include Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks as well as several books on local history, most recently, Wichita's Lebanese Heritage and Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley. He serves on the boards of the Kansas Humanities Council, Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review, the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum, the University Press of Kansas, and the Kansas Association of Historians.

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