25 January 2022

Michael Lang, “Transcending beauty”

In the context of post-modernity, one can reason about beauty only to a very limited extent, because it has been reduced to a subjective judgment. When it comes to church architecture, recourse to beauty alone will not carry us far. Hence, I intend to address the theological and liturgical foundations for a renewed conception of the sacred that can be translated into the design of churches. Particular attention will be given to questions raised by contemporary church building. My talk will conclude with a proposal of theological criteria for sacred architecture.

Fr Uwe Michael Lang is a priest of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London and teaches at St Mary’s University, Twickenham and Allen Hall Seminary. His publications in patristic and liturgical studies include Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer (2004) and Signs of the Holy One: Liturgy, Ritual and Expression of the Sacred (2015). His book The Roman Mass: From Early Christian Origins to Tridentine Reform is due to be published in the spring 2022. He is the editor of Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal.