Religious traditions relationship with sacred space

Sacred Space |

religious traditions relationship with sacred space

Religious theories of sacred space were pioneered by Mircea Eliade in the. s and . In Islamic tradition there is a different relationship between the Ka' ba. Sacred: Sacred, the power, being, or realm understood by religious persons to be at Various terms from different traditions have been recognized as correlates of sacer: Reality is experienced as one of prescribed relationships, some of these of religious ritual is that in the realm of the sacred all things have their place. Within indigenous religions, there are three key elements of beliefs:human relationship with nature, sacred time and space, and respect for origins, gods, and.

As you watch the video, look for symbols and rituals that are used to designate space as sacred.

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Consider what criteria are used to designate space as sacred. Allow five minutes for participants to complete the worksheet. Then lead a five to ten minute discussion by asking people to share thoughts from their completed worksheets. You might wish to use the following questions to prompt discussion: Why do you think these rituals and symbols are the most important? You may find the following questions useful: What spaces are sacred in your faith tradition? Answers might include the sanctuary or altar or other places in the building.

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What makes these spaces sacred? Are rituals or symbols used to designate these spaces as sacred? The video suggests that ritual, formal or informal, makes space sacred. Sandy Sasso suggests that it is the gathering of people for religious purpose that makes space sacred. While honoring formal and established rituals, Martin Marty also defines ritual in a more informal way.

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Answers will vary from faith group to faith group but they may include an activity that occurs in the space, or special ceremonies or rituals used to dedicate or transform the space. You may wish to consult with a clergyperson about the rituals of your tradition. Does your faith tradition have prescribed rituals or ceremonies to consecrate, or make space sacred? Are any areas of your building not sacred?

What are these areas used for? Answers to this question might include fellowship halls, classrooms, gymnasiums, storage areas, and others.

religious traditions relationship with sacred space

Why are these areas not considered sacred? Does your faith group encourage the creation of sacred space in the home? If so, what kind of ritual is required for this? If not, would it be good if your faith tradition did encourage this? Would such a ritual change the way you value or act in the home?

Think about spaces you occupy in your daily routine, especially at home or work. What changes could be made in these spaces to transform them, at least in part, to a place of comfort and special meaning to you?

Brainstorm about ways your group might devise a plan to create sacred space specific to your congregation. Choose an event of special importance that may have occurred in a different part of town. A visit to the spot might become a special annual event. Many people create space around themselves that they consider as their own. It is special to them, filled with personal items such as mementos, photographs of family, friends, or admired persons, trophies or other items that have personal meaning.

These may be places where family events take place, or a place where one goes for introspection or for community.

religious traditions relationship with sacred space

Visualize it clearly, and, on a separate sheet of paper, proceed to draw that space or describe it in words. When they are finished, give participants about five minutes to share their own examples by asking the following questions: Are any of these spaces defined by personal ritual, symbol, or story? In what ways does your faith encourage you to create personal sacred space? In the space below: Is this a place of retreat and comfort or is it a place that creates in you a sense of awe?

Does it ever make you uncomfortable?

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Are there activities that could desecrate sacred spaces? Four philosophical treatise and theoretical texts, which offer different aspects of the function of sacred land, may illustrate the variants in approach to the subject and the far from unanimous notions of sacred land in the theoretically motivated literature of classical times.

The Internet Classics Archive, http: He discusses causes and remedies for pollution, and the role the gods take in the purification of the polluted. In this text he mentions his opinion concerning the boundaries of sacred land Morb.

In addition, according to Hippocrates, these boundaries were made by man, they were decided on by the community for just this very purpose, the appropriate veneration and worship of the gods and deities only purified men and women could accomplish. Marked boundaries should therefore safeguard men of ignorance of the specific sacred status of a grove or shrine. Hippocrates has presented in his study a specific concept of pollution and purification with its consequences for the sacred property and the sacred land the pilgrim wants to enter.

Like Hippocrates, Hippodamus in the fifth, and Plato and Aristotle in the fourth century, speak of man-made boundaries of sacred land. But all three authors chose another perspective than Hippocrates and concentrate exclusively on the economic and political aspects of sacred land. The land should be divided into three parts: This partition receives a political and economic justification based on a specific idea and concept of polis-societies: The Internet Classics Archive http: He also divided the land into three parts, one sacred, one public, the third private: Plato in the Laws Nom.

Their respective argumentations differ, as do their concepts of societies and polis-structures. Moreover, privileges for sanctuaries granted by Hellenistic kings and later by the Roman senate or the emperor had in most cases economic consequences for the sanctuary and the city—the asylia, the panhellenic festivals, the regulations and privileges for markets and fairs in connection with sacred feasts.

There is no direct evidence e. Already mentioned is the prohibition of agricultural usage for economic purposes of the Hiera Orgas belonging to Demeter and Kore at Eleusis.

A second example of this kind is the arbitral verdicts and accounts of disputes between several poleis on the isle of Crete.

In the case of Hierapytna and Itanos, the conflict concerned land: The Itanaeans, however, argued that the land was agriculturally used, cultivated and had at least one building on it, thus, obviously it could not be the property of a god. The sacred character of the cultivated land was inconceivable—at least for the Itanaeans and the Megarians.

The hieromnemons were obliged to control the observance of the prohibition of cultivation and other rules by regular inspections. However, the land was not left waste: All these and more potential forms of usage of uncultivated land make it obvious that such sacred land did not had to be unproductive. In addition, no epinomia rule is known in the context of a sanctuary. I have already mentioned as well, that the modern viewer, perhaps even the ancient visitor was not always able to recognise such a place as sacred at first sight.

Therefore, I would venture to suggest that sacred land was not automatically part of a religious landscape. Cultivated land, land leased out for agricultural usage had no other visual and probably religious impact on the peasant who cultivated the land, on the passer-by who travelled over land or had some business in the chora of a city—at least the cases in which the cultivated sacred land was part of a cultivated environment.

As the long and nearly unreadable text of the Athenian inventories, such inscriptions demonstrated the strength of the deity and the prosperity of the cult. This might have been the land that immediately surrounds the walled sanctuary with shrine and altar.

In such a case it might not have mattered if the land was cultivated or not, as long as it was clearly connected with the sanctuary. Land surrounding a sanctuary could eventually or temporarily receive a specific religious quality or one might argue a less religious but social and economic quality—for example in all cases when a festival with fairs and markets took place in the proximity of the sanctuary.

religious traditions relationship with sacred space

The natural sanctuaries with groves for example became only visually and virtually specific if there was something that made them different from their environment. In many cases it may have been the change from human culture to divine nature, from the normal, for example a normal tree, to the exceptional, a tree divided by lightning, that made the place so specific, so sacred. Concepts of sacredness as combined with nature, with humanly untouched, with uncultivated nature, might have been a strong implement to transform a domesticated human landscape into a divine one.

AD discussed by Nicholas F.

religious traditions relationship with sacred space

Jones, Rural Athens under the De A History, Oxfordp. Therefore at least some problems, discussions and potential differences might be addressed in these final remarks. As concerns the Roman period, it may be questioned if there is a visible and obvious gap in the treatment of sacred land and in the concept of sacred landscapes.

However, it is difficult to discuss the results of these changes in detail. Robin Osborne claims that the end of the autonomy of the Greek city furthered the urban limitation of cities and made the countryside a more or less independent part of the Roman province. Their local elites were economically strong and politically self-conscious—not only because of their cultural heritage.

The financing of some of these sanctuaries with the leasing out of sacred land is attested well into the Roman period.

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However, as concerns the differences between mainland Greece and Asia Minor and the various changes in the treatment of sacred property in the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial Period, there is still work to be done.

First Conference Proceedings, ed. The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece, ed. Baumer, Kult im Kleinen. The horos-inscriptions, New Yorkesp. See below for pastoralism and for grazing flocks on sacred lands. Ulrich Fellmeth et al.

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For detailed studies see Gerald V. Apart from the Athenian-Aigina horoi, recently published horoi of sacred land of the Classical period include: Recently published horoi of sacred land dated to the Hellenistic period: Attica, SEG 41cf.

Recently published horoi of sacred land dated to the Roman Imperial period: The Athenian Agora vol. AD, land of Athena Poliase. Harris, Lea Rubinstein eds. Kirsty Shipton, Andrew Meadows eds. For the discussion of the agricultural usage of the hiera orgas in Athens, see below with note Athena and other deities loaned money to the Athenian people that was to be paid back, cf.

On hellenistic developments in the treatment of the properties of the gods and the use of sacred land as a security for public loans, M. New Themes and Approaches, Amsterdampp. Christian Frevel, Henner v.