The place in the world of the non-places

István Schneller: Modern Sacred Buildings
Typotex, Budapest, 2019

Text: Tamás Meggyesi

When holding a book on architecture with beautiful photographs, we are inclined to limit our attention to the illustrations. However, if we start turning the pages, and get engaged in the texts, we may all of a sudden realize that we are participants in a unique revelation, which is well worth the efforts. István Schneller’s book is a significant event in Hungarian architectural publishing. It is not only about modern sacred buildings but also about the general spiritual condition of our times, the crisis of contemporary culture and architecture, what is even more, those who get engaged in it, will see it also refers to that of our own world-view, the unresolved and burning contradictions of our faith. This book is actually a survey of the basic changes in society since the end of World War I, the era of modernism, the changing relationship between art and sacrality, the roles of secularization and tradition, as well as the struggles concerning the renewal and purification of the Christian world-view as reflected in 20th-century church architecture.