Sacred space--whether in architecture, landscape design, and gardens, or represented conceptually through other art forms--offers us a way to immerse ourselves in the experience of sacred path, sanctuary, and connection to the divine. The Center for Sacred Art is interested in analyzing the definition, design, and articulation of sacred space and its symbolic forms, including patterns, structures, and alignments. Our studies of sacred space include how humans interact with it in ceremony, pilgrimage, and personal devotion.
The Sacred Garden: Place of Divine Beauty
A day of inspiration, exploring the multi-faceted and beautiful world of sacred gardens and their expressions in Christian and Islamic cultures. We will reflect on the symbolic and spiritual dimensions of sacred gardens while viewing slides showing historic gardens, gardens in late medieval and renaissance art, and contemporary sacred gardens. There will be time for poetry, prayer, inspirational readings and music--as well as reflection and discussion. We look at medieval garden design and you’ll learn about the religious symbolism of individual plants. The day also includes a look at the modern revival of gardens planted in honor of Mary, and you’ll receive practical suggestions on how you or your organization might create and nurture a garden of the spirit of your own.
The Shape of Sacred Space
This comparative study explores how sacred space is identified, expressed, and interacted with across cultures. What leads people to identify particular locations as sacred? What types of structures and building forms are created in those places? How are they architecturally designed to enhance our experience of the sacred? How can prayer and meditation contribute to making a space sacred?
A Multicultural Exploration of the Sacred Mountain
A meditation on sacred mountains. We look at the physical nature of mountains, cosmological ideas associated with sacred mountains, sacred mountains as dwelling places of the divine, sacred mountains as places of divine revelation, temples shaped like mountains, monasteries situated on mountains, and pilgrimage and sacred mountains.