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.



Welcome to Religion 200 – Sacred Spaces. Religious and Ethnic Branding.

In this writing space and time you will have a chance to explore the various inner and outer journeys you will read about and we shall discuss in class.  Every week you will be invited by my prompter to write a reflection based on the assigned readings and class discussions.

Please, post your reflection ONLY in response to the corresponding prompter I will send every week.  That way you and everyone else in class will be able to locate your reflections for each topic.

Remember, this blog is designed to be built gradually during the semester, and I will evaluate your work and will assign a percentage of your final grade based on your timely and earnest contributions to this space.

Let me know if you have any questions about this matter.  Kind regards, Prof. Carrión.