Contemporary Spiritual Re|Image|ination: Relating the Traditions of the Episcopal Church to Modern Society
Bennett, Patrice Michelle
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In the American colonial era, Anglicans associated with the Church of England founded parishes and built churches throughout the colonies. After the Revolutionary War, many of these Anglicans refused any sort of loyalty toward the Church of England, and thus established the Episcopal Church. Early churches were often central within individual settlements and central to the lives of its inhabitants. Over the centuries, however, the Episcopal Church has migrated to the peripheries of communities and has diminished in importance to much of the populace. Over the last decade membership in the Episcopal Church has decreased by nearly twenty percent, despite progressive attempts by church leadership to evolve with an ever-changing society. Utilizing the canon and customs of the Church as a guide, this thesis will explore how the Episcopal Church can respond and relate to a diverse contemporary society while maintaining its rich history and traditions so vital to its tenets, and explores what role innovative architectural thinking can play to support that evolution.