Mellan makten och himmelriket : perspektiv på Hallands medeltida kyrkor
Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis is to discuss church building, the architectural design of Romanesque and Gothic churches and the use and symbolic interpretation of church buildings in the medieval period. It is suggested that churches were built for a variety of reasons, that the construction process may have been complicated and that the final result was not always the expected one. Many social groups were involved in the project, not only the elite. Churches may have acted as settings for the display of power, but they also facilitated the assessment and questioning of power. The church was an ambiguous building that people interpreted in different ways. The symbolic content of the church also changed over time. The mutability of the monuments is emphasized. The importance of considering the church’s religious significance is also stressed. Religion should not be viewed merely as an instrument used by the elite to promote power, but as an underlying ideology permeating the whole of society. Architecture can be viewed as an instrument to help make power more permanent and less dependent on individual agents. Churches can also be seen as venues for the staging of social encounters. The architectural design of the Romanesque church served to promote an idea of Christian authority and the universal power of the Church. It therefore acted as a suitable setting for elevating the groups whose place it was to maintain this divinely instituted regime on earth, that is to say, the clergy and the secular elite. The Gothicization of Romanesque churches meant that the character of the buildings was changed fundamentally, and that the hierarchical and aristocratic expressions were softened. The second part of the dissertation is an empirical application of some of the theoretical concepts outlined in the first part. The geographical framework is the province of Halland. The medieval churches in Halland can be considered a fairly neglected academic research subject. The thesies therefore also provides a general overwiev of the medieval church architecture in the province.
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