Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Christian church architecture across the United States: How the rhetoric of the building and its appointments speak to the doctrine and practices of a church
by Jones, Trestae M., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 178; 1504485
Abstract (Summary)

While the study of visual rhetoric has burgeoned in the last half century, architecture as a subset of that field has received minimal attention. Yet the visual rhetoric of architecture has great potential to communicate, whether by creating a mood, promoting a message, persuading an audience, or teaching a lesson. This thesis demonstrates how architecture is part of the growing body of visual rhetoric, contributing two unique genres of architecture to the field of study, specifically Christian church architecture: the traditional church and the megachurch. Utilizing ideological criticism and Longinus' perspective on transcendence provided insight into each genre's link to the spiritual, which subsequently established grounds to conclude that the architecture of traditional churches reinforces a Christ-centered Biblical approach, while the architecture of the megachurches promotes anthropocentrism. Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates architecture's ability to stimulate, persuade, and educate an audience and encourages further research into this form of visual rhetoric.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Craig R.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Communication, Architecture
Publication Number: 1504485
ISBN: 9781124994277
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