American Sanctuary: Understanding Sacred Spaces

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Louis P. Nelson
Indiana University Press, Mar 14, 2006 - Social Science - 296 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

Introduction
1
I Inscription
15
2 New England Orthodoxy and the Language of the Sacred
17
The Design of Sacred Space in New Yorks Central Park
37
4 The Urban Practice of Jewish Space
65
II Identity
87
Recent African American Yard Shows
89
The Sri Siva Vishnu and Murugan Temples in Metropolitan Washington DC
103
Anglican Constructions of the Sacred
157
American Judaism and Constructions of Domestic Sacred Space
182
Memorial Architecture and the Struggle for Meaning
203
IV Toward a Method
225
A Method for Focusing on Religious Meaning
230
Select Bibliography
251
Contributors
269
Index
271

Challenges for Contemporary Catholic Church Architecture
128
III Instability
155

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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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