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Architecture: Thinking about Beauty and Reason

18 April 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Organized by: Columbia University Catholic Ministry, The Municipal Art Society of New York
Venue: Corpus Christi Church
529 W. 121st St.
New York

Classical conceptions of beauty are associated with form—symmetry, balance, functionality—as well as delight.  Dr. Hochschild will discuss the nature of beauty in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and its relationship to human rationality and to the appetitive dimensions of the person.  In light of the centrality of the idea of revelation to the faith, architecture will be presented as a “visibile parlare”, a visible speech, declaring the nature of the Church and the central focus of the liturgy.  The Church building will be seen to have symbolic, pedagogical, and practical aspects, arising from its historical development, linking the Roman basilica form to the Israelite tabernacle (Ex. 26-27). Finally, given the unique character of Corpus Christi Church, the talk will address the way that Georgian church architecture draws on Renaissance principles of clarity and harmony, in order to balance the eschatological centrality of the Mass with the cosmological sense of peace internal to the building.