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Blog // Thoughts
May 23, 2005

Sacred Space or Church Space

Maggi Dawn has a great comment on sacred spaces in church buildings. She concludes a commentary on a old church building Cambridge by saying, “Michaelhouse has recaptured a great deal of the sense of medieval church buildings – where sacred and secular are not artificially divided in the pursuit of self-conscious, prissy spirituality, but left […]

Maggi Dawn has a great comment on sacred spaces in church buildings. She concludes a commentary on a old church building Cambridge by saying,

“Michaelhouse has recaptured a great deal of the sense of medieval church buildings – where sacred and secular are not artificially divided in the pursuit of self-conscious, prissy spirituality, but left to spill over into one another, allowing religion to be suitably earthy while allowing for a glimpse of the transcendent.”

This is something I’ve often pondered and frequently had to address in practical situations. Back in ’98 I preached a sermon on sacred spaces as part of a worship series (gee I hope I kept a copy of that). Moreover, the idea of transgressing, or re-imaging sacred space was a big part of why I pushed to screen the SacredImages film series in the King’s College Chapel, rather than in a multifunction room.

However, as much as sacred spaces are important, Mike Frost’s idea of “promixity space” (proximate space sounds better to me), as discussed by Kitty Cheng, is equally important. Proximate spaces and I would add, liminal spaces, help us get away from the unhelpful polar distinction between sacred spaces and secular spaces.

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