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The Role of Sacred Space in Judeo-Christian Religions

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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 religions while reducing the obstacles that prevent religious people from having religious experiences. Judeo-Christian religions have extensive histories in which the concept of sacred space has been instrumental to their developments. Today, sacred space remains important in separating these religions from the rest of the world. As seen in historical stories and reflected through the symbolism of religious architecture as well as in nature, sacred space is an important aspect of Judeo-Christian religions.

One reason that believers of Judeo-Christian religions find certain locations to be important is that God has declared that certain places should be considered sacred. In the Book of Exodus, the Lord speaks to Moses on the mountain of Horeb, saying “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Exo. 3.5 NAB). In the Book of Genesis, God sends Abraham to the land of Moriah. “When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar t...

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...stance religions from each other by fostering a feeling of superiority among some religions and inferiority among others. Judeo-Christian religions rely on sacred space to do these things for believers.

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Eastman, Roger. The Ways of Religion: An Introduction to the Major Traditions.

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and Practices of the Catholic Church. New York: Random House, Inc.,

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