Thursday, January 28, 2010

Imitation No More

A brief follow-up to Tuesday's post:

As promised, the Project followed up with Mr. Gregory Killam about his unfortunately named religious photographic odyssey, and asked if he would consider changing the name. You know, seeing as how we kind of already use it. Here was his response.

Consider it done. I hadn't meant to step on any toes. Would you like it if I referenced your site in my page to show people your point of view?

Done, indeed. Mr. Killiam's project (note lowercase "p") was immediately changed to "Religion Within a Radius," which actually strikes us as a very cool name, especially given his geographic constraints.

Immensely grateful, I in return posted the following:

No offense taken; it's impossible to know everything that's happening on the internet, and we appreciate your cooperation.

(BTW, the new name ROCKS. Nicely done.)

Feel free, too, to reference our site. As mentioned previously our goals are somewhat dissimilar, but we both find meaning in the religious architectural fabric of this city, and that's something to celebrate. We wish you the best in your own journey.

One piece of advice: be ready. Chronicling these buildings, and the people who inhabit them, changes you. Limit your preconceptions and leave yourself open to the experience, and you'll be handsomely rewarded.


The Philadelphia Church Project

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Limit your preconceptions? Don't you go around judging churches based on those very same preconceptions? Since when is that one of your priorities?"

Let's just say that the Project has grown and matured over the past (almost) three years. While we still stand starkly in defense of ecclesiastical beauty and defiantly against ecclesiastical abominations, we also have learned to take a slightly more nuanced approach.

The Project is now more inclined to be more open to what a particular church brings to the table, rather than simply slamming it for featuring white plaster and wooden beams, or whatever else tends to annoy us about church architecture. That new-found restraint, along with a deeper appreciation and attention for community and congregation, allows us to present a more balanced portrait of the places we visit.

Don't worry, if a church is ugly, we'll still say so. But haughtiness can only take you so far, and we're well-served to remember a little humility.

Surprised? As I said, the process changes you. With any luck, it'll change Mr. Killam, too.

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