chapter  3
18 Pages

Space and Time: Eschatological Dimensions of Christian Architecture

Buildings are about space and space, one might imagine, is not about time. No eschatological dimension to buildings, then. Christian architecture counters these suppositions, however, for from its earliest beginnings to one of its most glorious periods, the Middle Ages, the spaces in which Christians worshipped gestured beyond the setting designed for this-worldly ritual to an au-delà, not so much another space as another state, one lying in an unspecified future time, a state both temporal and yet unbounded: the everlasting life of perfect communion. In the history of Christian architecture, space becomes a means of pointing towards both time and the dissolution of temporal boundaries, and the unity of time and space is often expressed in the motion of liturgy, the sacred vessel for which is architecture.