CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
'Holy Places' featured in UI School of Religion photographic exhibit
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some places were built as holy monuments. Others
are holy because of their historical significance. Still other places become
holy when people gather there for special ceremonies or rituals. Some places
are considered holy by a single group of religious people while others
are holy places for the people of many of the world's religions.
A new photographic exhibit at the University of Iowa School of Religion
seeks to identify some of the holy places around the world and demonstrate
the similarities and differences among places considered holy by various
groups of people. The exhibit, "Holy Places: A Comparative View,"
is on display through July 1, 1999 on the third floor of Gilmore Hall on
the UI campus. It is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday. In addition, a series of public lectures on Sunday
afternoons in October will offer more detailed information and background
about some of the holy places around the world.
George Nickelsburg, professor of religion, and Allen Roberts, professor
of anthropology, collaborated on this project to create a display that
includes American Indian, Buddhist, Canaanite, Christian, Dogon, Druid,
ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, Hindu, Islamic, Mayan, Mormon, and Muslim
The photographs are grouped not according to religion, but under subheadings
such as "Structuring Space," "Space and Text," "Into
the Earth," and "Toward the Heavens." For example, the section
titled "Toward the Heavens" includes the towering structures
of the Great Temple of Amun in Karnak, Egypt; the minaret of the Blue Mosque
in Istanbul, Turkey; a spire of the Mormon Temple in San Diego, California;
and the Cathedral Tower in Ulm, Germany.
"We hope the exhibit will help people imagine themselves into the
diverse venues and expressions of human religion as it is experienced in
many traditions around the world," Nickelsburg said.
He added that combining the resources and expertise of the religion
and anthropology departments has given the exhibit more depth than it would
have had as an effort of just one department. "I've been delighted
to collaborate with professor Roberts and the department of anthropology
to enrich the character and scope of the exhibition," Nickelsburg
Accompanying the exhibit will be a Sunday afternoon lecture series throughout
the month of October. The presentations will highlight several different
places around the world that are considered holy by those who celebrate
a variety of religious traditions. All lectures will be from 2-4 p.m. and
are free and open to the public.
Following is a schedule of the lectures:
Oct. 11: "Mount Hermon: Where Heaven and the Underworld Meet,"
by George Nickelsburg, third floor Gilmore Hall.
Oct. 18: "From Urluru to Bear Butte: Indigenous Concerns About
Sacred Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties," by Larry J. Zimmerman,
director of the UI American Indian and Native Studies Program and professor
of anthropology, Room 106 Gilmore Hall.
Oct. 25: "Islam in Africa: A Contemporary Sufi Movement in Senegal,"
by Allen Roberts, Room 106 Gilmore Hall.
For more information, contact the UI School of Religion at (319) 335-2164
or send an email to Nickelsburg at firstname.lastname@example.org