Bezalel's Compass

January 12, 2012

Incarnation and the Arts

Filed under: Education of an architect, In Other's Words, On Existence and Time — Tags: , — Eric G. Ivers @ 5:27 pm

“The Incarnation, had it note been necessary to man’s redemption, would have been necessary to his art”.

Charles Williams – Reason and Beauty in the Poetic Mind


January 9, 2012

Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza

Filed under: Architecture, Art, Education of an architect, Praise — Tags: , — Eric G. Ivers @ 3:20 pm

Chiesa di Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, a beautiful Baroque masterpiece by Francesco Borromini.

January 7, 2012

Architecture and the Civil Realm

Filed under: Architecture, Art, Drawing on Life, On Existence and Time — Eric G. Ivers @ 6:51 pm

However many contemporary architects consciously locate themselves within the orbit of biblical religion, too few of any religious or philosophical persuasion appear willing to accept or able to comprehend the rudimentary outline of architecture understood as a civic art: that architecture symbolizes civility; that civility is about virtue; and that institutions are the bridges linking architecture to civilization, enabling formal order to symbolize moral order…those who stand within the Judeo-Christian heritage, and who continue to promote the traditional understanding of architecture as a civic art, might propose the following: that sometimes institutions, and even the architecture that symbolizes them, can be vehicles of grace.

This proposal issues from what I referred to earlier as a “sacramental” understanding of reality. Biblical monotheism rests upon a few fundamental perceptions: that a distinction exists between the world and its Creator; that creation is good but has been corrupted; that the world’s Creator is neither indifferent to nor uninvolved with its continuing existence and its final destiny. Law and prophetic word, sacrament and incarnation, all imply the active presence of God working within and on behalf of the religious community to strengthen and encourage its members to be holy, for both the community’s well-being and the world’s. Things (bread, wine, water, oil) and actions (circumcision, baptism, anointment, eating, sexual congress, works of justice and mercy) are understood not only as signs of God’s presence; more interestingly, they are understood as the means of that presence. God is spirit who makes Himself known through material things, because our dual and composite nature as spiritual and material beings requires us to know God through material means. Therefore matter matters- not only for its created goodness, but as the vehicle of redemption.

Pg.92-93 of Till We Have Built Jerusalem, Phillip Bess

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