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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Tour Churches

Book takes you to world's masterpieces

Every year brings new books of church photographs. Many are good, but few are outstanding. Count Churches among those few. With a focus on churches as masterpieces of art and architecture, author Judith Dupre selected simple wooden structures and some of the world's grandest cathedrals from every age. Dupre is a cultural historian and architecture expert.

Churches (HarperCollins, 2001) offers a number of full-page photographs, as well as many smaller ones, in a 12-by-16.5-inch format. Gazing at these photographs may be the next est thing to a visit--especially for churches one is not likely to go see, including the beautiful Birgund Stave Church in Norway and the astonishing Beta Ghiorghis, an Orthodox church in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Beta Ghiorghis is below ground level. Built between 1200 and 1300, this amazing structure was carved into a cruciform shape by chiseling down into one large piece of rock. The entrance is through an underground tunnel.

It's a poignant experience to view two of Dupre's North American selections, both in New York City. One is Trinity Episcopal Church, which had to be closed after the Sept. 11 destruction of the nearby World Trade Center towers to clean away massive amounts of ash and debris. The other is the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which in December suffered fire damage to parts of the building and to some priceless artworks. Both churches have reopened, now symbols of perseverance in the face of tragedy.

This book is available from www.amazon.com.


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