The church often values church buildings simply in terms of their functionality, yet some individuals go beyond this and treat buildings as in some way inherently sacred. This thesis explores the possibilities of understanding church buildings as sacred space and as sacrament in their own right.
Initially I explore some aesthetic and theological ways that the evaluation of sacred space exceeds functionality. Secondly, I both critique and draw on the most significant publication exploring sacred space, Spiritus Loci by Bert Daelemans S.J. This work leads to exploring the helpful concept of “saturated phenomenon” advanced by Jean-Luc Marion. Finally, in order to locate this thesis in the broader conversation about sacrament, I consider the concept of sacrament in two writers, David Brown and Louis-Marie Chauvet. With the assistance of these writers I consider the possibility of sacred spaces being considered as sacrament. I conclude that it is, indeed, appropriate to consider sacred spaces as exceeding functional evaluation and as sacraments in their own right.