Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Gothic Enterprise

This is the book on gothic cathedrals that I've always wanted to read, but didn't know it existed.

I found it a while ago in the Faculty Favorite section at New St. Andrew's. (the college Doug Wilson and company started)

I added it to my amazon wishlist , and forgot about it, until one day I was going through my wishlist looking for what the Evans library had. And they had it. Unforunatly for me some professor has checked it out till mid-november, but thankfully they have a virutal copy that seemingly can be read from any computer: here

Here's a quote:

"Awe. Inspiration. Humility. These words just hint at the powerful
responses evoked by the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe. The visionaries
who dreamed them command our admiration and respect,
and the audacity of those who actually built them elicits disbelief.
How, we may wonder, did ordinary people manage these feats of
tremendous physical and creative effort during a time, to quote
Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651), when life was "nasty, brutish,
and short"?
Technology in the twelfth to sixteenth centuries was
rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often
harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent.Yet
communities with only a meager standard of living managed to
make the immense investment of capital demanded by the construction
of these great edifaces. They mobilized the spiritual and
civic determination needed to sustain building projects that sometimes
spanned centuries. And they created buildings whose exquisite
beauty continues to amaze us today.
Why did people build these great structures? How were
they built? What were they used for? Attempting to answer these
questions forced me to move beyond the study of any one building
and to think instead about the cathedral as an idea, in an effort to
understand the fundamental notion embodied in it. This book explains
what I have learned."


Blogger Amber said...


9/06/2005 7:00 PM  

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