American Sanctuary: Understanding Sacred Spaces by Louis P. Nelson

By Louis P. Nelson

This quantity examines a various set of areas and structures noticeable in the course of the lens of well known perform and trust to make clear the complexities of sacred area in the US. members discover how commitment sermons rfile moving understandings of the assembly condo in early 19th-century Connecticut; the adjustments in evangelical church structure in the course of the similar century and what that tells us approximately evangelical non secular lifestyles; the influence of latest concerns on Catholic church structure; the impression of globalization at the development of conventional sacred areas; the city perform of Jewish area; nature worship and valuable Park in long island; the mezuzah and family sacred area; and, eventually, the non secular facets of African American backyard paintings.

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Most of these buildings had galleries, or balconies, on two or three sides of the audience room. Bell towers became more common along one of the short sides of the rectangular buildings. Little changed inside the buildings, however, and worship continued much as before, with substantial talking and listening but spare and infrequent ritual. 5 A growing sacramentalism among Congregationalists may have encouraged an impulse to make the meetinghouse special, and at this time a few New Englanders expressed dissatisfaction with using the meetinghouse for nonreligious purposes.

We can point to the early nineteenth century as the time when the words were loosed from their theological moorings, when calling a place “sacred” had a powerful yet increasingly uncertain meaning. Notes 1. ” The tension between a “plain style” and a tradition of symbolic richness existed long before the Reformation. Kieckhefer, Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley (New York: Oxford, 2004), 286. 2. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans.

This tour through a portion of Central Park highlights the religious and medieval foundations of both landscape and architectural elements throughout the entire park. 2. Pier at Bethesda Terrace. Photograph by the author. 39 Nelson_AmerSanctuary 40 11/30/05 2:32 PM Page 40 Inscription Americans to be spatially, temporally, and spiritually distinct from the commercial and industrial city growing up around it. While much has been written on the history of Central Park, interpretations of this landmark of the American park movement have typically emphasized the prescience and altruism of the park’s founders in establishing a natural refuge in the heart of New York City.

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