The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Built Environment
Eric O. Jacobsen (Baker Academic)
What a splendid book, delightful, informed, passionate, helping people of faith care about urban planning, social space, buildings, and the “space between” them. The author is a thoughtful Presbyterian minister who developed an interest in new urbanism while pastoring in a small town (and wrote Sidewalks of the Kingdom: Christian Faith and New Urbanism while engaged in that community) which led him into this work as a vocation, where he developed this wonderful resource.
Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism and the Sacred
Philip Bess (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
What a feisty and fascinating book, written by a conservative Roman Catholic cultural critic, social historian and graduate professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. Agree or not with his incisive critique, this is a provocative way to see how some people of faith have developed a theologically-informed vision of urban design and more.
Poetics of Space: The Classic Look at How We Experience Intimate Places
Gaston Bachelard (Beacon Press)
Although not from a uniquely Christian perspective, many have been grateful for this powerful rumination on the deeper meaning of space, buildings and more, written decades ago. Walking readers through various rooms of a home, this elegant but demanding book helps us appreciate not only homes, but houses and the phenomenology of dwelling. For a a similarly commendable, but more accessible (and consequently even more popular) work see the lovely Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton.
Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civil Life in Modern America
Edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister (New Atlantis Books)
A rather diverse collection of serious scholars that help us explore the significance of place, the erosion of civil life, and how buildings and urban policy can enhance thriving locales.
A Theology of the Built Environment: Justice, Empowerment, Redemption
T. J. Gorringe (Cambridge University Press)
Obviously published by one of the world’s most prestigious publishers, this is a heavy, serious, and exceptionally significant, morally-serious work. Some may think his theological input is not fully adequate, and the writing a bit dense, but, in any event, this is doubtlessly the premier major work on the subject, a must read for anyone serious about theologically-informed Christian reading in the field.
The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses
Juhani Pallasmaa (John Wiley)
One of the great books of architectural philosophy in our time, this is wise and astute, serious and simply a must read. Written by one of Finland’s most distinguished architects, and a world-renowned professor. The latest (3rd) edition has a new preface by the author.
The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture
Juhani Pallasmaa (John Wiley)
Again, Pallasmaa is one of our best architectural scholars, a vibrant and thoughtful advocate for a multi-dimensional, wholistic approach to thinking about the field. The very title of this important work invites us to deep reflection, no?
Additional Architecture resources are available in VIDEO.