August 26, 1998 |
Our region's oldest religious buildings represent an enduring connection between people divided into suburb and city, white and black, rich and poor. After two generations of suburbanization and population loss, many congregations in the city have dissolved or moved to the suburban counties. Yet the buildings endure in older neighborhoods like North Philadelphia. And, in many cases, new congregations with different denominations inherit the historic properties of earlier residents.
December 3, 2000 |
Sacred art is his forte. Yet Bolton Morris is probably the best 20th-century artist in our region to have had hardly any career as an exhibitor, apart from respectful attention to individual works he was commissioned to make for sacred places. Now that this versatile artist is 80, Villanova University Art Gallery has filled the exhibition gap with a large retrospective show of Morris' work. From beginning to end, this 91-item display is more than a document of one artist's prolific underground career.
August 15, 1987 |
Badly typed, single-spaced, a copy of a copy of a copy. More flaky New Age stuff. It's amazing how much of it floats into my life. "On Aug. 16, 1987, a galactic beam surrounding Earth will phase acceleration to synchronization. There will be a break in the harmonic resonance of the electromagnetic field of Earth. Many enlightened beings are due to return around that time, among them the Lord of Unified Opposites, Quetzalcoatl. " I don't know why I read nonsense like this, but I do, I usually do, with a sort of incredulous fascination.
October 2, 1992 |
The landscapes that Linda Connor explores in her gold-toned, black-and- white photographs are spiritual and metaphorical rather than topographical, even though many of the prints in the exhibition of her work at Haverford College's Comfort Gallery resemble conventional landscapes. To find her pictures, Connor, who lives in California, has visited outposts, often remote, that are steeped in a palpably spiritual ambience - Katmandu in Nepal, the Indian holy city of Benares and the former Inca religious center of Macchu Pichu, perched on an Andean mountaintop.
January 30, 1994 |
Time was, raising money from a wealthy Rittenhouse Square congregation was a relatively painless task. The minister would stand in front of his parish and explain that the church needed, say, a new roof or repairs to a stained- glass window, and the money would pour in. But times have changed. As much of the city's wealth moved out to the suburbs, and as big-city problems began to cry out for attention, the churches of Philadelphia's wealthiest neighborhoods found themselves spread thin.
February 1, 2011 |
What is the dollar value of a marriage saved? A suicide averted? An addiction conquered? A teenager taught right from wrong? In short: What is a church's economic worth to the community it serves? Last summer, a University of Pennsylvania professor and a national secular research group based in Center City took up that seemingly unanswerable question. With a list they devised of 54 value categories, they attempted to calculate the economic "halo effect" of a dozen religious congregations in Philadelphia - 10 Protestant churches, a Catholic parish, and a synagogue.
April 7, 2001 |
As President Bush's point man for faith-based initiatives, John J. DiIulio Jr. is trying to convert a vision of government-religion synergy into bricks-and-mortar reality. Critics have been quick to shoot holes in the vision, but the bricks and mortar often have their own holes. Literal, gaping holes. And sagging old walls, and leaky roofs. That is the plight of thousands of the inner-city congregations that are on the front lines of Bush's "community-serving" agenda. Many are in dilapidated buildings that hamper their ability to provide or increase social ministries.
March 6, 2005 |
For photographer Tom Crane, it's all about the light. Manipulating it in his work space. Controlling it within his spectacular studio/barn. Even toying with it in his playfully unorthodox home. "My whole being - my mode of operation - is determined by light," said Crane, relaxing at his spacious Bryn Mawr residence on Cumberland Hill. Crane takes pictures for a living. Specifically, he's an architectural photographer, artfully capturing images of buildings and their interiors on film.
March 6, 2005 |
An estimated 16,000 congregations worship in Philadelphia, many of them in buildings of architectural and historical significance. Some of the buildings - Christ Church or the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, for instance - are commonly known. Others, such as Kesher Israel Synagogue or Church of the Gesu, capture less attention. Architectural historian Roger Moss thinks these sites should be better recognized and appreciated by the public. He will discuss them in a lecture and slide presentation at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church in Flourtown.
February 7, 2011
We were very pleased with David O'Reilly's coverage of our pilot "Economic Halo" research project highlighting the significant positive impact congregations have on Philadelphia's economy ("What's a church worth?" Tuesday). To clarify one point, however, regarding an apparent negative value for the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany: This is due to our use of "rough" census tract data in comparing housing values around a congregation with housing values in neighboring census tracts.