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Title: A 'more-than-architectural' approach to Wesleyan space : how can material and spatial approaches to metropolitan Wesleyan Methodist practices provide insights into congregational experiences between 1851 and 1932?
Author: Slatter, R. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 3357
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Using metropolitan Wesleyan Methodist practices in London between 1851 and 1932 as a case study, this thesis proposes a 'more-than-architectural' (MTA) approach to congregational experiences of faith spaces. Critically developing existing architectural histories of Methodist buildings, it explores how material & spatial sources and analytical approaches can provide insights into historical experiences of Methodist practices. Existing architectural approaches to Methodist buildings focus on designers’ intentions, the theological implications of buildings’ external styles and the liturgical reasons for their internal arrangements. They consider buildings as architectural representations, approaching them as consistent and unchanging forms. Critiquing these approaches, this thesis's MTA approach considers spaces of Wesleyan practices as becoming material things and mutable networks, arguing that these perspectives provide insights into congregational experiences of Wesleyanism. It demonstrates how Wesleyan spaces changed over time as they were extended, redesigned, cleaned and repaired and argues that these changes contributed to congregational experiences of Wesleyan practices as the sound, smell, size, temperature and aesthetic appeal of their buildings changed. It also discusses Wesleyan spaces as mutable networks comprised of chapel complexes and spaces appropriated for Methodist uses beyond their chapels, considering how they changed as different people, activities and material things circulated through them. It argues that approaching Wesleyan spaces as networks usefully demonstrates how the physical form, use and users of Wesleyan spaces contributed to congregational experiences. The MTA approach is also a response to recent geographical and historical studies of religion. Increasingly interested in everyday-religious practices and the experiences of individual religious adherents, theses studies have also begun to embrace material analysis methods. Developing these ideas, this thesis accompanies its discussions of Wesleyan buildings as becoming material things and mutable networks with an MTA exploration of Wesleyan fundraising practices, considering how its material and spatial infrastructures contributed to congregational experiences of Wesleyanism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available