Uwe Michael Lang
Rev. Uwe Michael Lang, a native of Germany and priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in London, is a Lecturer in Church History at Heythrop College in the University of London and a Consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. He has published in the fields of Patristics and liturgical studies, including Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2nd edition 2009. His most recent book is The Voice of the Church at Prayer: Reflections on Liturgy and Language, San Francisco: Ignatius Press 2012.
Articles by Uwe Michael Lang
In recent years, historical research has paid considerable attention to the relationship between liturgy and architecture. Much of this scholarship has focussed on Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, but there is also growing interest in the periods of the Renaissance and of the Catholic Reform both before and after the Council of Trent (1545-1563), as is evident from the proceedings of a conference held at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence in 2003. The editor of the volume, Jörg Stabenow, identifies two main developments that transformed the typical church interior in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. First, elements that divided the building into different sections were removed in order to create a unified space. By contrast, medieval churches were structured by a complex system of partitions, especially the rood screen separating the nave from the choir. Secondly, the tabernacle placed in a central position on the high altar was adopted as the common form of Eucharistic reservation and became the focal point of Baroque church architecture.
The present Holy Father’s thought on liturgy and church architecture was considerably influenced by Louis Bouyer
At a recent occasion, Pope Benedict XVI has called artists “custodians of beauty,” as his predecessors Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II had done before him. This title is significant, not least because in the Catholic tradition beauty is understood as a philosophical and ultimately theological category.