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The study is part of a greater research into church construction between 1945 and 1970. The revision of church building is based on researches in historical and ecclesiastic archives, contemporary press, works of local history and field investigations. It applies particularly to the period after World War II that political and social history determined the construction of churches (the permissions to acquire the sites, materials, plans and building permits). This requires a review of the special historical literature concerning the churches between 1945 and 1957, and the post-war building rules. The next section discusses the buildings until 1957. The considerable stock is studied from different art historical viewpoints than the churches of the previous ages. Historical periodicization has divided the studied period into three parts: the first major event affecting the material-spiritual bases of the churches was the land reform of 1945, the second was the law of 1948 to nationalize the denominational schools. It directly influenced the church organization and the life of the believers that the communist party set up a security police in 1945, and in 1946 the Ministry of the Interior created a Department of State Security. The constitutional role of the catholic church ceased with the Hungarian parliament declaring the country a republic in 1946. A law was also passed about the penal consequences of anti-republican propaganda and organization. With these legislative tools the state restricted the material power and intellectual influence of the catholic church, while its power agencies spread fear and existential uncertainty, poisoning the coherence of smaller groups. In the first phase of the period between 1946 and 1958, the catholic church was subdued and the total controlling mechanism of the dictatorship was built out until 1953. Though an agreement was concluded between the state and the Roman Catholic church in the years between 1946 and 1958, it had little practical outcome, the persecution of the churches going on. The monastic orders were suppressed with four exceptions (1950), the peace movement of the clergy working within the church organization for the approval of the regime was initiated (1950) and the State Office of Church Affairs was set up (1951). No change ensued in the official church policy in the period after Stalin's death until 1956, nor in the 1956–58 years. In terms of building history, two main phases can be differentiated in the post-war period. Though the paper concentrates on the first, it is necessary to review the characteristics of the second as well to justify the subdivision. The researches so-far have revealed that concent to constructions belonged to the jurisdiction of the church authorities and the local council's building departments between 1945 and 1958. The foundation of the State Office of Church Affairs did not automatically entail a change in the permitting process, but it could influence the allocation of state funds, hence the financial standing of the churches. Between 1958 and 1989 two resolutions were passed on church construction. In 1958 the Ministry of Constructions spelt out that the local Council could not issue a building permit to a church property unless it had received the approval of the Church Affairs Office. The Office had the right to decide on the approval of plans, allocation of state subsidies and acquisition of building materials. This practice was somewhat relaxed from 1970 and the chief county official in charge of church affairs could also issue permits up to a limit of 50 thousand forints. There was no considerable change in the financial resources of the church in this period but the Office used the allocation of extraordinary state allowances to manipulate the financial position and internal life of the churches. In the second part of the study the author looks closely into church architecture between 1945 and 1957. After describing the acquisition of site, plans, building materials and the raising of funds, she enumerates the church types. The 172 major documented constructions can be divided into five large groups (renovation with extention, completion, conversion, reconstruction and building a new church). Each group is illustrated with building histories and descriptions. The first group contains cases when a renewed church received some extension or tower. The second group comprises church constructions begun before or during the war and completed now. The third populous group contains existing buildings which were massively changed in a variety of ways, from interior redecoration to extensive rebuilding of the exterior before they were consecrated. The reconstructed churches include the ones that had to be built wholly or largely anew on the basis of available sources. A building history touches on location, formal solution (size, shape, relation to earlier destroyed church, etc.). Four examples illustrated the new constructions. The circumstances of permission and finances, and the formal features are discussed in detail. The research on the history and formal characteristics of the reconstructed and newly built churches has resulted in the confutation of some earlier theses of special literature. It is not true that new churches were only allowed to be built in place of old, perished or destroyed churches or school chapels. Nor is it true that the new edifice had to coincide with the layout of the earlier or demolished one in the same size. The closing section of the dissertation embarks on three approaches to church construction in the period between 1945 and 1957. One cites the catholic media concerning buildings, to show what language they used when they tried to persuade the readership to give donations or inform them of church consecrations. The other approach is that of the Hungarian art historical and ecclesiastical special literature concerned with church architecture. The author compares the formals stock of modernity, of major secular architecture, the aesthetic approach and the interplay between church architecture and liturgical revival with the corresponding trends in Western art history. At last the analysis of the buildings of the period ensues. Taking stock of the ground plans and architectonic elements and their frequency, the author concludes that the basic forms and decorative motifs of the romanesque, gothic and baroque styles appear in every building with varying frequency and stylization. Built with varying talent at planning and execution, the forms reveal the adherence of the clients to traditions; they must have deemed the church buildings to be suitable to express the “spiritual content”, the cohesion of the community in these forms. The so-far most thorough research of the building stock of the period has revealed that the period between 1945 and 1989 was not homogeneous. Different regulations and feasibility mark out different periods. The study of building histories has resulted in a colourful picture, although further research will certainly add more details to our knowledge of the interrelation between politics and local regulation. The degree to which a local church has been elaborated (research into the architecture of the settlement, predecents to the church, building history, formal relations with churches in nearby settlements, etc.) does not only show the coherence of the local community but also its attitude to traditions and innovations. Future investigations on the church architecture of the period should depend on the exploration of further sources and their elaboration with historical methods.

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