Monday, October 17, 2005


Over on Slate, yesterday(Sunday), there was a slide show on America's megachurches. A megachurch really is only a very large church. And, as the author points out in the intro. of the slide show, really large churches have been around for ages (Hagia Sophia, St. Peter's Basilica, etc.). So I think it is safe to call what is happening to architecture in American churches... the McChurch (cute, isn't it... it took me a long time to think that one up:). And the reason I call them the McChurch is because of the fact that really big churches have existed for a very long time, and that these earlier churches were built for one reason... to glorify God in architecture. A visual representation of the kingdom of heaven on earth. A place that when one enters, they feel as if they are in the presence of God. The McChurch is obviously built without those ideas in mind (obviously, this is my own opinion). They seem to be built to stage a show, with the latest technology as far as lighting, sound, laser shows (I don't really know if they do laser shows, but some of the pictured examples look like you could have a really great laser show in the church), and for seating capacity. Now, seating/standing capacity is important. Don't think that the last 2000 years of Christians did not think of how many people they could fit into a church. If seating/standing capacity were not important, then Hagia Sophia and St. Peter's Basilica would never have been built (ok, maybe those architectures where thinking more in lines of bigger means glorifying God better, I don't really know). But if these McChurches were really looking for bigger seating/standing areas, why not rebuild a replica of St. Peter's Basilica (which can hold 60,000 people)? The people in the Côte d'Ivoire thought it was a good idea. Hope you enjoy the slide show!

UPDATE: Here is the link to the marriage retreat held at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church back in May. These are audio files. Dr. Philip Mamalakis, a professor at Holy Cross, was the speaker. There are three sessions covering two days. Enjoy!


Xenia Kathryn said...

Hey Christina,
Yeah, I saw that article on I didn't read it (nausea-related issues). You make a great distinction between "mega church" and "McChurch." :)

I hear the bird flu hit Greece (or at least a small island... the newscaster did not specify which one... let's hope it's not Ios). Right now I don't think anyone has died, a certain strain has just appeared in birds. I hope your family stays away from poulty over there! Ick... scary stuff.

Take care!

Jim N. said...

Not sure what the deconstructionists are doing today, but a few years ago when I was around them they were removing 'Christian art/symbolism' so that it wouldn't impede the seeker from coming to church. Or something like that. Old heresies never die, I guess.

'McChurch' is awesome, btw. :)