Saturday, 20 August 2016


Sometimes a passage in a novel initiates a train of thought that takes the mind completely outside the text. When the Matucheks visit a pueblo, they park beside the church:

"The interior was currently being decorated with vivid murals of native religious motifs."
-Poul Anderson, Operation Luna (New York, 2000), p. 78.

Multiculturalism? No:

"Though Catholicism had had considerable influence, the local faith was so firmly rooted that missionary efforts to replace it had, shall I say, petered out." (ibid.)

Might you also say that they palled?

This prompts reflection on buildings used for different purposes over the decades or centuries:

I think that there is a building out East that has been successively a temple, a church and a mosque;
Preston City Church has become Preston City Mosque;
a church in Merseyside became a Salvation Army citadel;
many former churches are put to secular uses including, in Lancaster, an Indian restaurant;
just across the Bay from Lancaster, Conishead Priory, on the site of a former Augustinian hospital and Priory, has been a private residence, a miner' convalescent home and a military hospital and is now a Buddhist Centre;
at Conishead, an indoor "folly" is designed as a chapel and called the Chapel but has never been consecrated or used as a chapel.

The next post will be more to the point.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Considering how I strongly and vehemently dislike and disagree with Islam, I cannot approve of any Christian churches being turned into mosques.

But I wanted to focus more on what you said about BUILDINGS. Your comments here reminded me of how Poul Anderson gave us some speculations about futuristic church architecture in "Outpost of Empire." Here is how the cathedral of Domkirk is described on the planet Freehold: "But the bishop's seat was raised two centuries ago, in a style already ancient. It was all colored vitryl, panes that formed one enormous many-faceted jewel, so that by day the interior was nothing except radiance--and even by moonlight, the outside flashed and dim spectra played."

I very much LIKE the idea of a church being made all of colored glass or glass like materials, eliminating the need for light blocking stone, brick, or wood. I THINK some glass like materials can be made as strong as those items I listed. If so, I hope someone will experiment with designing or building a church like the one we see in "Outpost of Empire."


Paul Shackley said...

And there was something about a temple in MOTHER OF KINGS.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

There was! During the period when the sons of Erik Blook-ax ruled Norway, their enemy Haakon Jarl was forced into exile. Both then and at other times Haakon had been deeply impressed by Christian churches. So, he vowed that he would build as fine as these churches to his favorite pagan goddess.