College Of Arts and Sciences | Sacred Places
E103 | 0035 | Deliyannis


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, and Mesoamerican religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,
and Hinduism.  We will look at why the selected sites became holy to
certain peoples or civilizations, why these peoples constructed structures
at them, how the structures were planned to accommodate assembled groups
of persons and the attendant festivals and rituals, the nature of the
processions of the faithful to them, the meaning of these sites, and
whether their functions and significance have survived to the present day
unaltered or in a reconfigured form.