Notable for the wealth and quality of its color and b&w photos, many reproduced in full-page plates (the volume is oversized, at 9.25x11.5"), this book presents a knowledgeable survey of Christian church architecture from the earliest churches in Ethiopia to experimental 20th-century designs worldwide. Much of the text is devoted to early and medieval Christian churches in Europe. Intended for the popular reader rather than the classroom, the book contains no ground plans. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
This lavish production is an easily accessible guide to 2000 years of church architecture and history by the author of several works on worldwide Christianity and Roman Catholicism in England. Norman (who is also Dean and Chaplain, Christ Church Coll., Canterbury) treats a weighty subject with a light, anecdotal touch; at times the text reads almost like a travelog. This is primarily a survey of how church styles came to be adopted, variations occurred, and geographical distribution produced both similarities and further variations. It is intended to assist visitors in interpreting the historical, emotional, and decorative associations inspired by existing structures throughout the world. The chapters on Romanesque, Baroque, Neoclassical, Gothic Revival, and modern church architecture are particularly strong. A fine addition to general and specialized collections.-- Russell T. Clement, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Ut.