Problem

Desecration of holy spaces

Other Names:
Holy places
Nature:

Space is holy when invested with a sense of the divine, that is, the place points to multiple levels of profound and creative significance beyond that of the space itself. The multi-dimensional meanings of the place may be simply personal, for example, the house a person grew up in may have a personal sense of the holy; where the mystery gave them birth, growth, maturity, confrontation with death, etc. Normally a sacred place must be communal that is recognized as holy by a community. The place may have many stories, legends or myths associated with it. It may be the location of repeated efforts at prayer, sacrifice, rituals, worship services, or rites. It may be the location of historically significant event, like the community's founding, defence against destruction, significant change in direction or other meaning investing activities. Desecration of holy spaces is attack of the symbolic meanings of the place. To wantonly destroy a temple, shrine, church, mosque or even a memorial is to attack the community's symbols of unity, of its relations to God, itself and its neighbours, and of its history, its present and its future. When a community's symbols are attacked the realities to which these symbols are pointing are indirectly under siege. The symbols and the realities they point to must be separated to understand desecration. The desecration of a holy space may generate strong reactions because of the profundity of the reality to which the place points, i.e. the central pillars of a belief system, or because of the many dimensions of life to which it points, i.e. a sense of community, continuity with the past, hope in the future, unity with the universe, and repeated experiences of being blessed.

Broader Problems:
Desecration
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
11.10.2017 – 19:48 CEST