The Sustainable Church: A New Way to Look at the Place of Worship
For centuries, the notions of sacred and development were closely related in European culture, both in the field of architecture, and, more broadly, in the arts. Sustainability, in this respect, mostly appeared in non-architectural terms. (The word “sustain” appears multiple times in the Bible, but mostly in relation to humans: me, you, him, them.) Beginning with the Enlightenment, a gap has developed between the two, which is still experienced, and which results in a general distrust, misinformation, and, accordingly, a fundamental misunderstanding between artists, architects and the church. Is the gap too wide to reconnect these two notions? The changes of the 20th and 21st Centuries, having affected and continuing to affect Europe, represent a valid need for the different congregations to rethink their role, and the role of their places of worship. This paper highlights some positive examples of modern and contemporary sacred architecture, designed to reflect an awareness of today’s issues — sustainability, attention to environmental and social issues.