The Role of Sacred Space in Judeo-Christian Religions

2648 Words Jul 13th, 2018 11 Pages
The Role of Sacred Space in Judeo-Christian Religions

Certain physical locations take on important meanings in the world’s religions. Religions consider various geographic elements such as different cities, regions, mountains, and rivers to be sacred. For example, Hindus travel to the Ganges River to cleanse themselves from their sins (Momen 157). One of the requirements of all Muslims is that they make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (Eastman 398). Judeo-Christian religions also have certain places that are held sacred to their followers. The concept of sacred space is important to Judeo-Christian religions, because it helps to explain the questions of existence. Sacred space provides something tangible to represent
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With the current knowledge of humans, these matters cannot be adequately explained. Furthermore, these ideas cannot be expressed with current human language (Barbour 90). To compensate for the inability to explain the unexplainable and the lack of sufficient answers to life’s questions, Judeo-Christian religions tend to employ tangible phenomena as much as possible. The concept of sacred space is important to religions, because it offers a tangible representation of the religion for its believers. This can help to humanize the supernatural and the concept of spirituality. Sacred space helps to provide a structure for religions, as it closes the gaps of understanding of concepts that are difficult to grasp with human understanding.

Judeo-Christian religions employ the concept of location as a storytelling tool. Stories help to explain intangible concepts, and the use of specific places in biblical stories helps to concretize these concepts. In the story of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden is described as a beautiful place. In the center of the garden are the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2.8-3.24 NAB). This story utilizes tangible elements to represent deeper meanings. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes the Lord’s omnipotence. When Eve eats from this tree, it represents humanity’s sinful desire to be like God. In the New Testament, the story
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