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When Church Became Theatre
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When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America

Jeanne Halgren Kilde


Explores the social and religious contexts that informed the development and the widespread adoption of the neomedieval auditorium church type by evangelical Protestants in the late nineteenth century. The building type is characterized by an architecturally eclectic exterior facade, emphasizing Gothic or Romanesque vocabularies, and an amphitheater‐like main auditorium with theater features. Blending social, religious, and architectural history, the book examines the buildings as texts that bear witness to significant changes in religious creed, code, and cultus. The democratic and homelike c ... More

Keywords: auditorium, Baptists, Christian unity, Congregationalists, evangelical, Methodists, Presbyterians, Protestants, religious, worship

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780195143416
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195143418.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeanne Halgren Kilde, author
Macalester College
Author Webpage