Featured Articles Archive

For every issue we publish, Faith & Form features one article here on our website. As each new issue is distributed, our home page is updated with the latest featured article. Previously posted articles will remain on the website and will be accessible from this page. Our online article archive goes back to 2006.

Sacred and Civic Synergy

Neighborhood House entry connector

Christ Church’s dramatic transformation of its Neighborhood House into a community asset The transformation of Christ Church’s Neighborhood House in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia powerfully exemplifies the aims of the Sacred Places/Civic Spaces … [continue]

Creating Connections Between Arts and Faith Communities

Brian Sanders JUNK dancers

In cities and towns throughout the country, many shrinking congregations have room to spare, while artists are looking for affordable places in which to create. Why not bring them together for mutual benefit? How do congregations with space they are not fully … [continue]

Community, Space, and Time in Islamic Architecture

Selimiye Mosque

In all the aspects, cultures, and geographies of the Islamic world, one will often hear the term “ummah” in conversation. It is heard in conversations between friends and families. It is heard from the minbar of the mosque at the Friday prayer; heard in … [continue]

Soulful and Social

The Golden Summit by Thomas Barrie AIA

The shifting borders between sacred place and secular space This issue’s theme is an exploration of the connections, overlaps, and opportunities between sacred places and the communities in which they live. Such an appraisal demands that we examine how we … [continue]

Sacred Places in Transition

Wharton Wesley United Methodist Church

Philadelphia’s religious building stock is in transition, due in large part to the declining memberships and resources of many congregations, which echoes the situation in cities and towns across the country. The moment a building is sold by a congregation or … [continue]

‘Can you help us find money to take care of our building?’

Broad Bay Church

For over 25 years, senior staff at Partners for Sacred Places have been fielding the question in this article’s headline from congregations across the US, showing varying degrees of experience or capacity for stewardship of their buildings—from strategically … [continue]

The Economic Halo Effect

woman looking at stained glass windows through binoculars

An update on the value of historic sacred places and their impact on communities In 2016, Partners for Sacred Places published the results of a national research project that documented the larger impact of congregations on their communities, and the … [continue]

To Re-imagine Religion and Spirit

Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan

‘You have to start by tearing out the pews’ A restored chateau called “Chateau La Coste” in Provence brought me to tears recently. It had a “universal” chapel at its hilltop, renovated by Tadao Ando. It also had works of art by Ai WeiWei, Andy Goldsworthy, … [continue]

Designing for the Subarctic Sacred

Hallgrímskirkja Church, Iceland, by Guðjón Samúelsson, 1945.

Founded in 2013, the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University in Ontario was the first new school of architecture in Canada in 40 years. The first undergraduate cohort graduated in 2017, and in the fall of 2017 the Master of Architecture program … [continue]

The ‘Stereotypical’ Mosque

The Şemsi Paşa Complex, Üsküdar, Istanbu

Inventing an architectural form to provide for the worship of an invisible and non-representational deity has never been achieved, and anything that became an accepted form had to be evolved through the passage of time.1 ~ Martin Frishman In the spring of … [continue]