Shop Window, Flagship, Common Ground

Metaphor in Cathedral and Congregation Studies

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Judith Muskett
  • Norwich, UK: 
    Hymns Ancient and Modern
    , November
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


How are cathedrals and churches understood? Are they shop windows, through which to gaze at the riches on offer within the Christian life? Are they flagships of the Spirit? Are they both sacred spaces and community utilities?

Shop-Window, Flagship, Common Ground views the rich ministry and innovative mission of cathedrals through the novel lens of metaphor; and it offers comparative insights on cathedrals and cathedral-like churches.

Located in the emerging international field of cathedral studies, the book explores the usage and inferences of a range of metaphors, including ‘shop-windows of the Church of England’, ‘flagships of the Spirit’, ‘beacons of the Christian faith’, ‘magnets’, and ‘sacred space, common ground’.

This volume also shows how such metaphors can stimulate different types of research about the function of cathedral and church buildings.

With a foreword by Professor Grace Davie, the book suggests that cathedrals and cathedral-like churches may play a role within 'vicarious religion' theory. It will provide a thought-provoking critique for practitioners and a valuable contribution for scholars of cathedral studies, congregational studies and ecclesiology.

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

Judith A. Muskett is the Mission Facilitator at St Wulfram's Church, Grantham in the Diocese of Lincoln, and a Visiting Fellow at York St John University.



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