Catholic Architecture, Part 3: Synagogue and Temple

Model of the Jerusalem Temple

In part 3 of his Catholic Architecture series, Dr. Denis McNamara looks to the Old Testament to find clues to the ideal design of churches. In ancient Israel after the period of exile, Jewish worship was divided between synagogue and temple. Synagogues were places of gathering where Jews went to hear the Scriptures proclaimed. The temple in Jerusalem was the place of sacrifice.

In the Christian era, synagogue and temple come together. Catholic churches are places of both Scripture and sacrifice (the Eucharist), and this truth has implications for church architecture.

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