Sacred Spaces

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Sacred Spaces

  1. 1. Sacred Spaces
  2. 2. Sacred Spaces  Scholars typically identify sacred places on a continuum, ranging from an earthly place of importance to a site associated with divinity.
  3. 3. Sacred Spaces Categories  Gulliford’s Nine Categories: 1. Sites associated with emergence and migration 2. Trails and pilgrimage routes 3. Sites essential to cultural survival 4. Altars 5. Vision quest sites 6. Ceremonial dance sites 7. Ancestral ruins 8. Petroglyphs and pictographs 9. Burial or massacre sites
  4. 4. Sacred Spaces Categories  DeLoria’s Four Categories: 1. Entirely human agency 2. Interaction between human and divine 3. Higher powers fully reveal themselves to people 4. Sites representing present- day interactions between the human and spiritual realms
  5. 5. American Sacred Spaces  The United States has its own set of defining national narratives that correspond to these categories.
  6. 6. American Sacred Spaces  For example, there is a powerful scene in the movie Saving Private Ryan, where the older Ryan makes a pilgrimage to the American Cemetery at Normandy. (Burial Site/Human Agency)
  7. 7. American Sacred Spaces Certain historical figures are sometimes raised to “divinity.”  A fresco called The Apotheosis of George Washington occupies the dome at the U.S. Capitol Building. (Apotheosis = becoming a god)
  8. 8. American Sacred Spaces  Veneration of Washington reached its height during the 19th century.  In the 1860s, Abraham Lincoln emerged as a new figure endowed with some devotional attributes once held by Washington alone.  Washington, as the Father of the country, symbolized the emergence of the United States.  Lincoln came to symbolize the unity of its people.
  9. 9. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ Gettysburg Battlefield: Gettysburg veterans at the battle’s 50th anniversary
  10. 10. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ Jamestown, Plymouth Colony (places of emergence and migration)
  11. 11. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ Pearl Harbor Memorial (places essential to cultural survival)
  12. 12. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ Independence Hall, Promontory Summit (sacred sites of human agency)
  13. 13. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial (interaction between human and "divine")
  14. 14. American Sacred Spaces  Sites in the American sacred narrative: ◦ World Trade Center Memorial (sacred sites related to contemporary events)
  15. 15. Sacred Spaces - Conferences  In the conference area please respond to the following questions: ◦ What makes a place sacred? ◦ What functions to sacred places serve? ◦ How do cultural artifacts relate to sacred places? ◦ What is the relationship between myth and truth?

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