Sacred Gardens and Landscapes: Ritual and Agency

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Studies of rituals in sacred gardens and landscapes offer tantalizing insights into the significance of gardens and landscapes in the societies of India, ancient Greece, Pre-Columbian Mexico, medieval Japan, post-Renaissance Europe, and America. Sacred gardens and landscapes engaged their visitors into three specific modes of agency: as anterooms spurring encounters with the netherworld; as journeys through mystical lands; and as a means of establishing a sense of locality, metaphorically rooting the dweller's own identity in a well-defined part of the material world. Each section of this book is devoted to one of these forms of agency. Together the essays reveal a profound cultural significance of gardens previously overlooked by studies of garden styles.

 

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Contents

The Cultural Agency of Gardens and Landscapes 3
A Voyage through Mythical Lands

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About the author (2007)

Michel Conan is the former Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.

Claude Calame is Directeur d'Études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Richard Price is Dittman Professor of American Studies and Professor of Anthropology and History at College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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