Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores

The Culture of Church Building in Stuart England through the Lens of Consecration Sermons


In Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores, Anne-Françoise Morel offers an account of the intellectual and cultural history of places of worship in Stuart England. Official documents issued by the Church of England rarely addressed issues regarding the status, function, use, and design of churches; but consecration sermons turn time and again to the conditions and qualities befitting a place of worship in Post-Reformation England. Placing the church building directly in the midst of the heated discussions on the polity and ceremonies of the Church of England, this book recovers a vital lost area of architectural discourse. It demonstrates that the religious principles of church building were enhanced by, and contributed to, scientific developments in fields outside the realm of religion, such as epistemology, the theory of sense perception, aesthetics, rhetoric, antiquarianism, and architecture.

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Anne-Françoise Morel is Professor in Architectural History at the KU Leuven. She has published international peer-reviewed articles and chapters on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English architecture and is a member of the committee of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.
Shortlisted for the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion 2020
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Introduction: The Glorious Jerusalem and the Harlot Babylon
 1 Consecration Sermons in the Church of England
 2 A Complicated Religious Landscape
 3 Labelling Religion
 4 Religious Difference and Church Buildings
 5 The Structure of the Book

1 What? How? Why?: Church Consecration in England 1549–1715, an Unestablished Ceremony
 1 Books of Homilies, 1562–63: on the Use of the Church Building
 2 Fading of the Ritual
 3 “Forms” of Consecration
 4 Conclusion

2 Preaching in and on ‘the Temple’: Types and Models for Church Building
 1 Biblical Examples as Divine Inspiration for Holy Places
 2 The Foundation of the Church: Patriarchs and Anglo-Saxon Early Christianity
 3 Bellarmine, the Voice of a Respected Roman Catholic Opponent
 4 Conclusion

3 The Spirit of Holiness
 1 The Holiness, in Spirit, and in Truth
 2 The Building and the Idol
 3 Conclusion

4 Sense Perception and the Performativity of Architecture
 1 The Devotee’s Sensory Impressions
 2 Senses, Passions and Magnificence in the Seventeenth Century
 3 Rhetoric of Architecture
 4 Conclusion

5 The Culture of Church Building at the Crossroads of History, Theology, and Architecture
 1 Describing the Church Building: from Confessional Interest to Architectural History
 2 Building a Historical Lineage
 3 The Architectural Debate
 4 Conclusion


6 Gazetter

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Case Studies
All interested in the history and architecture of the Church of England, as well as in studies on ritual, iconoclasm, early modern architectural theory, and aesthetics. Keywords: place of worship, religious architecture, churches, chapels, Anglican Church, Church of England, intellectual culture, architectural theory, history of architecture, preachers, preaching, iconoclasm, idolatry, sacred space, Laudianism, Laudians, puritans, High Church, Low Church, dissenters, antiquarian studies, sense perception, epistemology, canon law, post-Reformation England
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