Nations and religions have designated certain places as “Holy Ground” (Mecca, Gettysburg, Iona) — and we would look at some of these and ask what makes them “sacred”. But there may also be places that have a spiritual significance for us as individuals. We would include a look at some of these.
Most world religions hold a belief that certain places are sacred or holy. But what makes them so? And what about locations that may not have any particular religious significance but are in some way special to nations and peoples? And why is it that certain places in the natural world seem to evoke similar emotional reactions from large numbers of people?
Whether the locations are religious, national or natural, when people travel to places like these, does their journey become a pilgrimage? And what do we mean by that term?
This conversation will draw on our own reflections as we explore all of these questions. But we will also take time to share our experience of places that have particular significance for us individually and so have, in a sense, become our own personal sacred spaces. What is it about them that invests them with special meaning - or a special quality?
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Clark Saunders is a retired United Church minister who has led events and courses on various aspects of theology and spirituality - broadly defined - inToronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Berkeley and Naramata, BC.