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Pocket Guide to How to Read A Church

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  116 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Churches and cathedrals are visited by millions of tourists as well as worshippers each year. But many people do not realise that church buildings are packed with images, symbols and meanings that often need explanation. This handy guide will unlock all the treasures they contain. The stunning colour photographs show the very best in church art and architecture - from pain ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2007 by Rider (first published July 3rd 2003)
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Sep 26, 2016 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, nonfiction
Five years ago, I found this book in the gift shop of Westminster Abbey but did not buy it. I then spent the next 5 weeks regretting that decision as we traveled through Europe and visited innumerable churches. I remember checking each of their gift shops to see if they had a copy but never found one. I am an atheist but I do like churches and have a strange interest in Christian history and theology, and this book would have been a great guide on that trip. So, when I happened to stumble across ...more
Stephen Huntley
Feb 28, 2014 Stephen Huntley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written succinctly, with some nice quirky touches, and not at all preachy. Perfect for the general reader, there's plenty of fascinating information presented in a concise manner with just the right amount of detail and illustration. A great general reference resource.
This is a great glossary to church art, especially Western chutch art. Some of the way things are written/edited is slightly inconsistent (the way information from other places is referenced, etc.), but overall a nicely put-together book.
Apr 21, 2015 Rose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it is interesting, but also quite repetitive.
May 09, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty basic stuff although since the book covers the Catholic faith I did learn a few things about saints and their symbols. An easy read.
May 31, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good reference, but I've read most of this information elsewhere. Hence, I went through it quickly.
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2003. I read this book because of the documentary series that is currently showing on TV. It was a fascinating series and, now that I have read the book, followed the book closely. Although not many illustrations, it is a great introduction to a subject that I knew very little about. The writing is not at all dry and is immensely readable. Would like a follow on, please.
Sep 16, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pious Architects
Shelves: architecture
This is an excellent guide to deciphering the symbology found in most christian churches, especially Catholic churches. It deals with the symbols found in decoration and artworks in churches, but it also helps with the metaphors that are used in the layout and arrangement of religious spaces.
Do not believe that this is the same edition, as mine is the "Pocket Guide". Has some interesting information, and is a good "refresher", but I find it very lacking in depth and not particularly useful as a reference. Perhaps need to look for this, full edition. ** for the Pocket Guide.
A nifty little book which unpacks the symbolism found in and around churches. Had some nostalgic moments for me and some sense of the loss of my children and their generation for whom this is likely to be completely new.
May 20, 2012 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intersting book, well written and a good introduction to Christen church imagery. However, I would have like it to have gone into more detail. I'll be looking for something with more depth.
Jan 26, 2008 Ayla rated it liked it
Very good informative book, lovely pictures and clear and easy to read. However riddled with typos and proof-reading errors.
Feb 27, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, but Taylor misses possible deeper spiritual signification of someof the arhcitecture and objects. The book reads at times as if wtitten by someone for whom the faith is purely a historical phenomenon.
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Richard Taylor is a professor of English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Kentucky poet laureate, he is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history. A former dean and teacher in the Governor’s Scholars Program, he was selected as Distinguished Professor at Kentucky State ...more
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