A ‘More-than-Architectural’ Approach to Faith Spaces: Wesleyan Methodist Spaces in London, 1851-1932

Slatter, Ruth (2015). A ‘More-than-Architectural’ Approach to Faith Spaces: Wesleyan Methodist Spaces in London, 1851-1932. Interiors, 6(3) pp. 306–328.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/20419112.2015.1125627

Abstract

Taking spaces of Wesleyan Methodist practice in London between 1851 and 1932 as its case study, this article develops a ‘more-than-architectural’ approach to faith spaces and demonstrates the analytical benefits of its application. Interested in developing an approach to faith spaces simultaneously interested in their physical design, material construction, use and users, this more-than-architectural approach allows purpose-built, temporary and appropriated spaces of faith practice to be studied using the same analytical framework. Applying a more-than-architectural approach to Wesleyan spaces, this article challenges conventional interpretations of the interior design of Wesleyan chapels as static and stable. It considers the huge range of Wesleyan spaces that were used, it analyses the various theological ideals that influenced Wesleyan spaces, explores how non-Wesleyan activities that were conducted in Wesleyan spaces affected their design, and muses over the affect of the ever-changing nature of these spaces’ material form.

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