Monday, March 29, 2004

Preservationists and the culture of death?

Boston Globe on the simmering conflict between preservationists of historical church buildings and the cash-strapped archdiocese. It's a curious phenomenon occuring in dioceses all over the country. Many, especially Protestants, often stererotype Catholics for having an excessive attachment to their houses of worship, to the external, material elements of faith. But the preservationists imply Catholics have insufficient respect for their architectural treasures. More curious is how the preservationists objectivize these church buildings and have the mind to isolate them from the concrete, present life of the Church. They give the appearance of advocating for religious and architectural history while simultaneously de-historicizing it. More evidence of our taxidermic culture of death, like Western Europe's conversion of the Church into a stuffed animal?