No. 26. Arguments et al

Last week you heard your peers present, and offered your feedback.  Many of you sent me your feedback.  Before the end of the day today I’ll send the individual emails to everyone with your peers’ comments and suggestions.

In preparation for this week’s presentations, please post a brief paragraph with the following information:

  1.  Your hypothesis / argument about sacred spaces
  2. The place or places (physically existent or figuratively imagined) you are going to analyze
  3. The method or methods you are going to deploy to prove your hypothesis
  4. Your tentative conclusion

Please, post by Monday at 10pm.

Nov. 12-14. The Underworld, Prophecy, and Mass Destruction.

This week we read and heard a series of ideas and arguments  about the myths of the underworld and their relation to terms of the sacred: miracles, prophecy, hope, and peace.  In our discussions, we sought to understand how in American Millenialism oftentimes these myths are correlated with reptile people, mass destruction, war, atomic energy machinery, and last judgements.  On Tuesday we discussed Barkun’s exploration of these myths.  On Thursday, we mobilized a comparative analysis of Gordon Melton’s view of American Millenialism and  Coltri’s response to this view, and dig deeper on the nexus of miracles and machunes established by Derrida and Naas.

By Monday at noon, please post your reflection about ONE of these myths keeps reoccurring today, and how it has changed, faded, or escalated.

Oct. 29-31. On Heaven, with Hildegard, Bingen, water, gardens, and cosmographies

We are not going to begin our writing with the regular prompter-of-the-week here, this week.

However, all and any of you wish to publish a FREE-FORM, optional blogpost related to Hildegard, to Bingen, to cosmic humanity, to ruins, monasteries, or gardens, or to any other question about, in, on, or at sacred spaces, you can do so here.

Stay warm and dry tonight, watch out for with brooms, and be safe.  Happy Halloween.

Oct. 22-24. Myth and Ritual, Cosmologies, and Evidence

This week we discussed the critical importance that origin myths and material objects have in the composition, sustenance, and interpretation of sacred spaces.  How does an act of divination encompass the space around it and makes it sacred?  How does an object, like a tray, become more than a mere marginal ornament or a prop in the constitution of such sacred space?  How does a person go from holding an object, or even merely looking at it, to engaging a whole cosmology?  How can such an action and the event it generates lead them to experience the Homeland, even if they are not there?  How do objects get woven with poetics, mimesis, and/or devotion to lead to the experience of the sacred and the constitution of a sacred space or place?  How does the Yorùbá religion depend on objects like this for branding a space sacred, for everyone to see and grasp the hierophantic?  What other objects can you think of in your own experience of the sacred that are equivalent in this matter?

Write a reflection in which you consider these questions and answer some of them.  The post is due on Sunday October 27 at midnight.

Oct. 1-3. Weaving Sacredness with Tales and Polygons

This week we seek to understand the importance of geopolitical negotiations in the constitution of sacred spaces.  By Thursday we will have looked at two different, yet interrelated cases: one, the dedication, ruination, reconstitution, and recognition of the sacred spaces of the owl dunes in Rajasthan and, on the other, the geometric tales of the Topkapi Scrolls present in the designs of Islamic art and architecture.

Write a reflection based on the readings by Grodzin, Kale, or Bodner on how one of these communities / tribes / ethnicities / religions weave sacredness with tales, polygons, and an embrace.  Please, post your reflection by Sunday at 5PM.

Sept 24-26. Ciphers of Sacredness and Architecture

This week the readings by González, Bier, and Koliji as well as the class discussions revolved around our attempt to understand the corresponding ways in which abstraction, movement, geometry, mathematics, and philosophy work in composing metaphors of space and place.

On Tuesday we developed working definitions of the concepts of abstraction, kinetics, and geometry as intermediary, and today we moved to spatial and architectural expressions that rest heavily on foundations of mathematics and philosophy.  We discussed, for instance, how is squaring the circle or the circling of the square a metaphor for carving a sacred space?  How do the ‘basic’ works of geometry and mathematics morph in architectural processes and protocols to mediate with the creation of sacred spaces?

Reflect upon these questions, and compose a comment on these or other questions you have thought about in relation to the assigned readings and class discussions of this week.  Please, post by SUNDAY at 5pm.

Sept 17-19. Flesh, Bodies, Migrant Sacred Spaces

This week we are working on trying to understand the correspondences between flesh, bodies, and migration, and how they contribute to the composition and interpretation of sacred spaces.  To to that, we are going to expand the discussion we began last week regarding place and the study of religions, as well as the usefulness, or not, of the GPS of sacredness and religion.

On Tuesday we dwelled on the poetics of flesh, and not, considering the philosophical framework of Glissant and Fanon, and weighing terms such as relation, gathering, water, miracles, feeding and healing, poetics, feminization, the maternal and motherhood, carnal interdependence, vulnerability, exposure, and disidentification.  On Thursday we are going to journey between Chicago and México, and we are going to explore how some of the terms discussed on Tuesday play a role, or not, in the production of sacred space with the guadalupanas.  We will venture in-and-out of matters pertaining to current issues with migration movements in the world.

Post your reflection by Saturday at 5PM.  You will work in teams for class discussion and exchanges, but reflections are to be written and posted individually from now on, please.

Sept. 10-12. Place and the Study of Religions

In the assigned readings for this week, Mary MacDonald and Loida Martell present two different, yet related arguments to tease out the role that place play in the constitution of a sacred space.

Based on these two readings, you were asked to:

1. Reflect upon the two readings assigned for this week (MacDonald’s and Martell’s), and the class discussions about them.. In relation to the theme for this week, listed in the title of our portal here, write down (for you to have clear) the central arguments presented by Macdonald and Martell. Reflect a bit more on them.
2. Select a sentence or short passage from either one of the two assigned readings. Perform a close reading. To do that, find how the sentence selected illustrates the argument you have written above. How is that sentence or passage you have selected a mobilization, or poor use, of what evidence needed to prove the argument?

Please, post your reflection here at your earliest convenience.  You do NOT have to rewrite anything, merely post it here so we can find it and read it with the remaining postings for this week.

Sept 5. Sacredness and Architecture

On this first week we read in the “Introduction” (pages 8-11) to the Metropolitan’s guide to Islamic arts how geometry, distances, and calculations in space and designs contribute to the branding of a type of architecture.  To understand and read competently the ways in which sacredness and architecture correspond with each other, we read Lang’s essay on sacredness and architecture as a point of departure to guide us both in the second kickoff of the course and in our beginning the semester.

In your reflections, you considered a piece of Lang’s argument, and gauged how visual evidence found by you supported, or not, that part of his argument on “Sacredness and Architecture.”

Please, POST here your reflection for this week.  You do not have to rewrite any part of this, ONLY add the names of the two partners contributing to this reflection, so everyone knows the parties involved in the post.  Thank you.