American Sanctuary: Understanding Sacred Spaces by Louis P. Nelson

By Louis P. Nelson

This quantity examines a various set of areas and constructions obvious throughout the lens of renowned perform and trust to make clear the complexities of sacred house in the USA. members discover how commitment sermons record moving understandings of the assembly condominium in early 19th-century Connecticut; the alterations in evangelical church structure throughout the related century and what that tells us approximately evangelical non secular lifestyles; the impression of latest matters on Catholic church structure; the effect of globalization at the development of conventional sacred areas; the city perform of Jewish area; nature worship and important Park in ny; the mezuzah and family sacred house; and, eventually, the religious features of African American backyard paintings.

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But arguments in favor of restricting the use of the meetinghouse to religious activities had a moral component as well. By the 1790s, the scattered complaints of earlier years about using God’s house as a house of business turned into a wholesale campaign to encourage respect for religion by restricting the use of worship space to religious activities only. The new style of church building encouraged such respect. An informed citizen would have sensed the new meetinghouse’s special purpose from the architecture itself.

By 1820, it had no such affect on the majority of ordinary people. ” Were Congregational ministers, by their willingness to muddy the etymological waters, contributing to a process that was draining the word of its strength? ” Does that mean that we pray and meditate with our spouses and children on Friday nights? We use these words for things that are important and set apart, but we do not necessarily connect them to spiritual truths or religious rituals. These words certainly indicate things that are deeply meaningful, but almost anything could qualify.

35 Because many early-nineteenth- century Americans expected a Nelson_AmerSanctuary 11/30/05 2:32 PM Page 31 New England Orthodoxy and the Language of the Sacred 31 strong emotional connection to things of ultimate significance, both ministers and worshippers warmly welcomed this new sensibility and found the right words to nurture it. New Englanders did not restrict their use of the vocabulary of the sacred to church-related places and events. We find such terms creatively employed in highly emotional—yet not institutional—expressions of a spiritual or quasi-spiritual nature.

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