A Theology of Space:
The Architectures of Belief and Rhythms of Ritual
This project explores the construction and realization of religious space in contemporary culture. Taking ancient and contemporary religious sites in County Carlow as its subject matter, the project looks at questions that arise around spaces and places that are marked out and celebrated as sacred. Participants in the project analyze and critique a number of such sacred sites that have been set a-part in order to ritualize significant moments of life.
This is a collaborative project with IT Carlow TV & Media Production students. This project began in the second semester (January-April 2019). The first stage of the project involved a tour to religious places around County Carlow that included: Holy Wells, Monastic Ruins, Graveyards, Churches, and other contemporary sites of worship. Cork based poet James Harpur and local Carlow artist Bridget Flannery joined us for this inspiring tour of local sites that brought together word, vision, and place.
Our use of sacred spaces exhibits an implicit theology and reflects a foundational understanding of the human condition. We see this reflected, for example, in changes to these spaces as they are modified in harmony with the changing dynamics of contemporary culture. Historically, the design and structure of sacred spaces have often reflected a hierarchical, platonic worldview; this, however, of late, has been modified and adapted so as to reflect a new social ordering that is centred on the communal, which rhymes better with contemporary culture. It will be evident that sacred spaces and the people who inhabit them are constantly subject to change.