American Sanctuary: Understanding Sacred Spaces

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Louis P. Nelson
Indiana University Press, 2006 - Social Science - 280 pages
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This volume examines a diverse set of spaces and buildings seen through the lens of popular practice and belief to shed light on the complexities of sacred space in America. Contributors explore how dedication sermons document shifting understandings of the meetinghouse in early 19th-century Connecticut; the changes in evangelical church architecture during the same century and what that tells us about evangelical religious life; the impact of contemporary issues on Catholic church architecture; the impact of globalization on the construction of traditional sacred spaces; the urban practice of Jewish space; nature worship and Central Park in New York; the mezuzah and domestic sacred space; and, finally, the spiritual aspects of African American yard art.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 New England Orthodoxy and the Language of the Sacred
17
3 God in Gotham
37
4 The Urban Practice of Jewish Space
65
Recent African American Yard Shows
89
6 Spaces for a New Public Presence
103
7 Getting beyond Gothic
128
8 Word Shape and Image
157
9 The Mezuzah
182
10 Mythic Pieties of Permanence
203
11 Reading Megachurches
225
Select Bibliography
251
Contributors
269
Index
271
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About the author (2006)

Louis P. Nelson is Assistant Professor of Architectural History at the University of Virginia. He is author of Pulpits, Piety, and Power: Anglican Architecture and Material Culture in Colonial South Carolina (forthcoming).

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