Fine Arts | Sacred Places (COLL topics course)
E103 | 14229 | Gruber

In most parts of the world, religious activity is linked to specific
places which have ritual, mythical, or historical significance.
These "sacred spaces" become the focus of ritual activity,
pilgrimage, and symbolism, and are usually endowed with buildings
and art that celebrate the sanctity of the place, create a sense of
awe, and accommodate the activities and people who travel to visit
them. This course offers an introduction to a representative sample
of significant sacred sites and shrines throughout the world. These
holy places will be examined in terms of the festivals and religions
with which they are associated:  Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and
Mesoamerican religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and
Hinduism. We will look at why the selected sites became holy to
certain peoples or civilizations, how the sites and structures
convey a sense of transcendence, and in what ways the structures
were planned to accommodate assembled groups of persons and
attendant festivals and rituals. We also will examine whether their
functions and significance have survived to the present day
unaltered or in a reconfigured form.