Liturgy, community, modernity: postwar places of worship in South Australia 1945-1990

Research team: Chris Burns and Christine Garnaut

In the decades after World War Two South Australia experienced a significant population boom as a result of immigration and an increase in the birth rate. During this period, various religious organisations played a role in suburban and rural development alongside and in collaboration with government and private developers.

It was also in the Postwar period that many religions implemented substantial change or modernised to become more inclusive and relevant to their congregations. This changed the way they connected with their community, practiced their faith and created a sense of place. Fundamental to these modernisation aims was their expression in built form. In some instances interdisciplinary design collaborations between architects, artists and other professionals resulted in the holistic design of space including structure, interiors and landscapes.

The research will focus on Places of Worship constructed between 1946-c.1990 and built in both metropolitan Adelaide and country South Australia by different religions, faiths and denominations.

This research is funded by the Government of South Australia, Department for Environment and Water.