About this book we are told:
This book examines the interchange of architecture and ritual in the Middle and Late Byzantine churches of Constantinople (ninth to fifteenth centuries). It employs archaeological and archival data, hagiographic and historical sources, liturgical texts and commentaries, and monastic typika and testaments to integrate the architecture of the medieval churches of Constantinople with liturgical and extra-liturgical practices and their continuously evolving social and cultural context. The book argues against the approach that has dominated Byzantine studies: that of functional determinism, the view that architectural form always follows liturgical function. Instead, proceeding chapter by chapter through the spaces of the Byzantine church, it investigates how architecture responded to the exigencies of the rituals, and how church spaces eventually acquired new uses. The church building is described in the context of the culture and people whose needs it was continually adapted to serve. Rather than viewing churches as frozen in time (usually the time when the last brick was laid), this study argues that they were social constructs and so were never finished, but continually evolving.
And then, in February, another book along similar lines: Nicholas Patricios, The Sacred Architecture of Byzantium: Art, Liturgy and Symbolism in Early Christian Churches (I.B. Tauris, 2014), 384pp.
About this latter book we are told:
The churches of the Byzantine era were built to represent heaven on earth. Architecture, art and liturgy were intertwined in them to a degree that has never been replicated elsewhere, and the symbolism of this relationship had deep and profound meanings. Sacred buildings and their spiritual art underpinned the Eastern liturgical rites, which in turn influenced architectural design and the decoration which accompanied it. Nicholas N. Patricios here offers a comprehensive survey, from the age of Constantine to the fall of Constantinople, of the nexus between buildings, worship and art. His identification of seven distinct Byzantine church types, based on a close analysis of 370 church building plans, will have considerable appeal to Byzantinists, lay and scholarly. Beyond categorizing and describing the churches themselves, which are richly illustrated with photographs, plans and diagrams, the author interprets the sacred liturgy that took place within these holy buildings, tracing the development of the worship in conjunction with architectural advances made up to the 15th century. Focusing on buildings located in twenty-two different locations, this sumptuous book is an essential guide to individual features such as the synthronon, templon and ambo and also to the wider significance of Byzantine art and architecture.