XIVth International Liturgical Conference
SEEN FROM OUTSIDE
The exterior of churches
Monastery of Bose
National Office for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church — Italian Bishops’ Conference
National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscapists, and Conservators
Bose, 2–4 June 2016
The building for worship is the most visible image that every religious tradition offers of itself in public space. In giving form to its churches, the Church too has given visible form to itself over the centuries, up to creating in contemporary architecture a series of images of churches: tent, boat, mantle, edifice… A church is seen first of all from outside, and its exterior distinguishes it as much as its interior. What is here at stake, however, is the need for the church to be recognizable as such, even in the plurality of its forms. The architect’s task is to form the body of a church, to give it a posture, to situate it in the city, and to give it a face with its facade. Theologians, historians of architecture and of art express the meaning of the rites outside a church, of the threshold of hospitality, and of the art of the doors. Architects of international fame present their experiences in planning and executing the exterior of a church.