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When Church Became TheatreThe Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Jeanne Halgren Kilde

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143416

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195143418.001.0001

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Sacralizing the Evangelical Church as a Church Home

Sacralizing the Evangelical Church as a Church Home

(p.146) 6 Sacralizing the Evangelical Church as a Church Home
When Church Became Theatre

Jeanne Halgren Kilde (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Called “church homes,” auditorium churches were considered “houses of God” as well as religious homes for members, and the domestic meanings associated with them transformed ideas about the nature of God and the relationship between divinity and humanity. Drawing upon evangelical devotion to domestic piety and nuclear families, congregations accomplished the sacralization of these unprecedented churches by linking them to domestic tropes. Like the sacred home, these churches included kitchens and nurseries and domestic furnishings such as upholstered seating and carpeting. Ornamentation, including stained glass, wood carving, and frescoed walls, drew heavily upon organic themes, indicating the power of the natural world to connect human society with God. By bringing these domestic features into the church, evangelicals demonstrated that just as God ordained the Christian home, so too would he ordain the church.

Keywords:   Christian, church, domestic, frescoed walls, homes, nature, piety, sacralization, stained glass

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