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A History of the Church through its Buildings Reviews

A History of the Church through its Buildings by Allan Doig (Emeritus Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford)

A History of the Church through its Buildings

Allan Doig (Emeritus Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford)

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction, Religion
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10 Dec 2020
ISBN: 9780199575367

Allan Doig explores the Christian Church through the lens of twelve particular churches, looking at their history, archaeology, and how the buildings changed over time in response to developing usage and beliefs.

4 stars out of 5
23 Jan 2021

"a guide to the world’s greatest churches"

The author, an academic Oxford clergyman, knows his stuff and writes with reticence. He mentions the battle of Lepanto without using its name; he refers to the ‘new Cathedral of Saragossa’ without specifying whether he means the rebuilt Seo or the neighbouring basilica of El Pilar. Strangely at one point he says that the Victorian ecclesiologist Benjamin Webb was inhibited from exercising his orders for 16 years, when it was J.M. Neale (the author of ‘Good King Wenceslas’) that he means. Perhaps an editor supplied the wrong name when tidying a sentence.


3 stars out of 5
Peter Stanford
17 Jan 2021

"for a book about places, there is oddly little sense of place"

There is a strong closing chapter on the post-war Coventry Cathedral, rising from the ashes of its predecessor as both symbol of peace and of the Church’s role in bringing it to the modern world. But overall this is a book that underdelivers on the lofty promise made by its title. It is at best a patchy and partial history of the global Christian church. The cast list is too short for such a universal claim, with Luther’s Reformation hardly meriting a mention, despite its profound impact on the way churches were arranged and decorated.