House Party

“God's House” and “The House of the Lord” are such commonplace terms for religious buildings that they barely register their implications of intimacy and domes- ticity. Many people raised in mainline religions–Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or even … [continue]

Do You ‘Church’?

Have you noticed that the word “church” is now a verb, as well as a noun? In just the past few weeks I participated in conferences where the question of how one “churches” was central to the discussion of religious and spiritual life. At a seminar … [continue]

Shall We Dance?

In July, Gallup released findings that American confidence in organized religion is at its lowest point ever. Just 44 percent of Americans expressed “a great deal, or quite a lot of confidence” in the Church/Organized Religion, down from 48 percent a … [continue]

Pilgrim’s Progress

I remember it being a very hot day. I had traveled with friends and colleagues this past April on a pilgrimage to the ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico, one of the places on my architect's bucket list. Now I stood at the threshold of this monumental … [continue]

The “S” Word

A few weeks ago I was invited to make some remarks at a gathering at Cornell University's New York City Center to open an evening panel discussion by architects and academicians on “Space, the Sacred, and the Imagination.” The event being held was … [continue]

Litmus Test

The other day, in the Faith & Form LinkedIn discussion group, a group member brought up the topic of the fealty of those who work with congregations on architecture and art projects. He wanted to know if he might not be considered for a … [continue]

The Gift That Keeps Taking

I'm on the Buildings and Grounds Committee of my church. Recently an email from our committee chair let us know that a parishioner had come forward to donate an irrigation system for our memorial garden. The chair wanted the committee's feedback on … [continue]

Betty’s Way

It is difficult to argue with a 92-year-old. When Betty Meyer told me she had decided to retire her Faith & Form column, “Just One More Thing,” I protested and tried to talk her out of it. But Betty has more than earned the privilege to stop. … [continue]

Mosque and State

What role should the mosque (or the church, or the temple, or any religion) play in the modern state? For Nasser Rabbat, Islamic architecture scholar and director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of … [continue]

Keep It Local

Recent studies document the ongoing decline of organized, mainline religious groups, while the number of people who describe themselves as spiritual but not necessarily religious continues to grow . This is not good news for hierarchical … [continue]