Becoming Christ Cathedral : the emergence, rise, and transformation of the crystal cathedral /
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The Crystal Cathedral was part of the Reformed Church of America, located in Southern California, started by Reverend Robert H. Schuller. This Protestant place of worship thrived for many years, however, after struggling financially, was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Orange and renamed Christ Cathedral. The key informants, those social actors in charge of defining and designing the Crystal Cathedral and Christ Cathedral, afforded a unique gaze of this fluid built form. They exposed details about place formation, how leaders made sense of design and worship in a transformational space, and how the sacred environment was shaped by context, events, and participant engagement. The findings of the case study, which used a ground theory level of analysis, revealed that the sacredness of the Christ Cathedral was a result of spatial, spiritual, and socio-cultural forces. The lens of this study concentrated on the social perspective of the spatial and spiritual realm, and revealed the story of a sociallyconstructed sacred space; a space hinged on the culture it served and made sacred by the human beings it acted for. As the social actors representing the Catholic Diocese designed their new sacred space, they embraced the impact of the former Protestant ministry and distinct architecture of the Crystal Cathedral, yet disclosed ways the space needed to change. The actors worked with thresholds to more clearly separate the sacred from the profane, incorporated places for rituals to occur, added deliberate symbolism via liturgical art, materials and lighting to directly corresponded to the Catholic faith. This new design enhanced the aesthetics of the space to frame the place as more "authentically Catholic" in order to afford ways participants could bridge across the physical space to the spiritual realm.
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