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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:10 PM

Ask the Religion Experts: How important is the synagogue, church, mosque or other structure?

RADHIKA SEKAR holds a PhD in religious studies and taught Hinduism courses at Carleton and University of Ottawa. An aspiring Vedantin, she is a devotee of the Sri Ramakrishna Mission.

April 29, 2012 9:01 AM

Much has been written and said about the importance of religious edifices. In earlier times, when religion provided the cultural matrix, temples supported the socio-economic and political systems of the land, distributing wealth and maintaining power.

In modern times, they serve a crucial community need, especially in diaspora: generating and providing fellowship (to borrow a Christian term), space to conduct organized religion, facilitate rites of passage, hold religious discourse and gather for devotional worship like bhajan and kirtan.

But these needs can just as easily be served in community halls. What is it then that makes a temple special, that transforms it from a mere “brick and mortar” building to a sacred space?

While the Vedic concept of God is of an omniscient, formless, absolute entity that manifests in a variety of names and forms, the Agamas believe that divinity also manifests as specific explicit energies, like the fire that emerges from fuel, the fragrance of a flower, etc. and that these energies can be approached through appropriate means — through what Agama calls archa, worship ­methods.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Religion+Experts+important+synagogue+church+mosque+other+structure/6537461/story.html

The article continues with the views of a Rabbi, a Sikh, a Catholic priest, a Bahá’í, and a Buddhist priest.

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Reply Ask the Religion Experts: How important is the synagogue, church, mosque or other structure? (Original post)
rug Apr 2012 OP
HowHasItComeToThis Apr 2012 #1
rrneck Apr 2012 #2
rug Apr 2012 #3
dimbear Apr 2012 #4

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:47 PM

1. THEY WERE THE ORIGINAL ADVERTISING SIGNS

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:30 PM

2. Capital.

When a religion gets property it jumps the shark.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:32 PM

3. It doesn't help.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:38 PM

4. All over the old Roman Empire you can see churches built right on top of mithraea.

They are symbolic 'victory laps.'

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