An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape James M. Rubenstein. Chapter 6. Religion. Adapted from PPT by Abe Goldman. Religion and Language. Two most important forces that bond and define human cultures results in common understandings
Fig. 6-1: World religions by continent.
Fig. 6-1a: Over two-thirds of the world’s population belong to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Christianity is the single largest world religion.
Axis mundi – earth to space of god(s) above
Callanish stones, Scotland
Sacred tree (Indonesia above, Japan left)
Places made sacred both through their architecture (physically) and through the actions of people who visit these sites (culturally)
"As you descend the path along the wall and reach this angle, you realize that one wing of the black wall points straight at the tall, white Washington Monument a mile or so off, and the other at the Lincoln Memorial, visible through a screen of trees about 600 feet away. In making this descent you feel you're entering a cloistered space, set off from the busy surroundings. Streets and skylines disappear to leave you alone with the wall and its names. Then, as you pass the angle and begin to climb, you feel yourself emerging again into the world of noise and light after a meditative experience. “
Robert Campbell, "An Emotive Place Apart," A.I.A. Journal, May 1983, pp. 150-1
Day of the Dead, Ocosingo Cemetery, Mexico, November 2, 2002 (Source: Road that has no end)
Life meets death: reduction of space between the two worlds
Jewish graves with stones placed by visitors
San Miguel de Allende , Mexico
Artifacts act to ‘pair absence with presence’ Richardson, 2001
Gifts as involving a reciprocal relationship
Gifts as confirming an ongoing relationship?
Marking the grave of unknown Soviet soldiers
Marilyn Monroe, Westwood village memorial park
Memorial reef ball: topography that expands the marine environment
Underwater landscape element
Lhasa, Tibet was center of Tibetan Buddhists until 1959, now Dharamsala India
Fig. 6-4: Each of the three main universalizing religions diffused widely from its hearth.
Fig. 6-9: Most holy sites in Buddhism are locations of important events in Buddha’s life and are clustered in northeastern India and southern Nepal.
Fig. 6-10: Makkah (Mecca) is the holiest city in Islam and is the site of pilgrimage for millions of Muslims each year. There are numerous holy sites in the city.
Hindu religion: Conglomeration of different religions
Religion of people in India
Sites: Often rivers, caves, mountains, places often remote
Fig. 6-11: Hierarchy of Hindu holy places: Some sites are holy to Hindus throughout India; others have a regional or sectarian importance, or are important only locally.
Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is considered to be the birth place of Hindu god Shri Ram.
Bhimashankar Temple , near start of Bhima River, site of legend of god Shiva slaying a demon
Shiva, one of the primary gods
Mixed with Buddism
Fig. 6-12: Place names in Québec show the impact of religion on the landscape. Many cities and towns are named after saints.
Fig. 6-14: The Old City of Jerusalem contains holy sites for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. See pg 213 - 214