Catholic Architecture, Part 2

What is Beauty?

We are accustomed today to the understanding that beauty is subjective. We all know the statement, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Is that true?

In this second episode of the Catholic Architecture series, Dr. McNamara provides us a definition of beauty: “We call things beautiful when they reveal their ontological reality to us.” This is a fancy way of saying that we call things beautiful when they look like what they really are.

How does this relate to church architecture? It can be hard to explain, but we have all probably had the experience of seeing a certain church building and thinking, “that doesn’t look like a church.” On what do we base that judgement? Listen as Dr. McNamara explains how we can recognize the “church-ness” of a church building. 

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