The Church’s liturgy has always existed in dynamic relationship with the complex currents of culture and history. These themes are of considerable importance in Catholicism today. This course examines the Mass in the light of social history, influences of modernity, and the postconciliar agenda of inculturation in its various expressions.
Dr. Denis McNamara is an Associate Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He is the former Academic Director of the Liturgical Institute. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture with Richard Guy Wilson and Carroll William Westfall.
Dr. McNamara makes a specialty of bridging the gap between the Church’s great artistic tradition and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. He has also done groundbreaking research on scriptural understandings of architecture and the sacramental meaning of the classical architectural tradition.
He is the author of Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course In Ecclesiastical Architecture which was published in eight languages.
An experienced singer, Dr. McNamara has been a member of numerous large and small vocal ensembles for over three decades. He has led training classes in liturgical singing and teaches the Liturgical Institute’s course on the documents of sacred music.