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Sacred place - Research Paper Example

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Each set of traditions and culture differ from one another depending upon the geographic location of the group of people…
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Traditional and Contemporary Sacred Places: A Comparison In the history of mankind, people tend to explain the origin of their existence by stories, myths, beliefs and rituals in various parts of the world. Each set of traditions and culture differ from one another depending upon the geographic location of the group of people considered as the members of the religion. Ancient and contemporary religions have their own sacred places which differ in form and differ in symbolisms. Their rituals are also different. A good example to visualize the difference between ancient and contemporary sacred places is by having concrete examples. Consider the difference between a contemporary Catholic Church and the traditional sacred places indicated in the Holy Bible.
Traditional and Contemporary Sacred Places: A Comparison
Sacred places have been part of human life as proven by history. They serve as houses for religious rituals and places for professing beliefs. They cater the traditions that take care of the morality of mankind through ages. Also as the time passed by, various changes happened in the world and sacred places also evolved together with the modernization and civilization of men (Olsen, 2000).
Normally religions make use of a guide book that they consider holy or a book that contains the Truth or message of supernatural beings. Usually myths or stories are seen in the book of each religion and later on during the ceremony of the faithful, a certain spiritual leader reads and explains the stories and myths in the book. It is done for the cleansing of the soul as all religions address the concept of spirit or the spiritual nature of human beings (Nye, 2004).
In relation to rituals and the history, sacred places change in terms of structure. Ancient sacred places are usually one with nature like mountains, caves, piled stone or near trees and river. Ancient people also built temples for rituals and for communication improvement of the soul with the humanity. As the time goes by, the old temples and natural sacred places are replaced by religious centers located in the cities and buildings (Olsen, 2000).
A good example is the Catholic Church and its origin can be traced back from Judaism, a religion in Israel and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is considered as the City of God as verses of several books in the Holy Bible show. Other sacred places of the religion are Mt. Sinai, Rome and places that are not physically visible today like Heaven and Garden of Eden (Holm and Boker, 1994). In order for the believers to understand the message of God, religious centers called churches are built where the members of the religion can practice the ritual or attend the Holy Mass. Several symbols can be observed from the altar, vestments of the priest or spiritual leader and the laity in commemoration for the passion of Christ and other events indicated in the Holy Bible (Turner, 2006). The difference is that modern churches have access to technology as compared to ancient churches.
References
Nye, M. (2004). Religion: The basics. New York: Routledge
Olsen, B. (2000). Sacred places: 101 spiritual sites around the world. California: Consortium of Collective Consciousness.
Turner, P. (2006). Let us pray: A guide to the rubrics of Sunday mass. Minnesota: Order of St. Benedict. Read More
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