Joaquim Félix de Carvalho, researcher at CITER-UCP, gave the closing conference of the 6th International Contemporary Architecture Congress, dedicated to the theme “Architectures for a new liturgy. Interventions in religious heritage after the Second Vatican Council”, in Porto between 10 and 12 October 2019.
The event brought together experts from Italy, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Brazil, and Australia and reflected the conciliar call for liturgical changes. After five decades, the challenge continues, especially in the face of buildings with a high heritage or historical value, as well as dichotomous tensions over the meaning of architectural space, between what should be conserved and what is to be renovated. Issues that demand not only enlightening debates, but also the testimony of an open and serene dialogue of the most significant interventions carried out, which are immensely helpful in the formulation of criteria for renovation of sacred architecture.
Professor Félix's conference is linked to the projects of the Árvore da Vida, Cheia de Graça and Imaculada (Braga), and was entitled «Terebinto, Tenda, Templo, Corpo: Anamnese maiêutica a pensar nas poéticas da arquitetura religiosa contemporânea». The author proposes to reflect on these four areas as “architectural icons” that invite to access, through contemplation, an anamnesis that illuminates the great concerns. The text is an introduction to the critical hermeneutics that guided the process of creating a poetics of spatiality (ritual, artistic, linguistic) offering the sacramental itinerary a sapiential path. Thus, proposing the anamnetic horizon as a place to welcome maieutic issues that contemporary time imposes.
The conference is available at the Acts of Contemporary Religious Architecture.
You can also read an essay by Professor Félix «Thinking about contemporary religious architecture» on the website of the Secretariado Nacional da Pastoral da Cultura.