Special Issue "Sacred Spaces"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sherin Wing Website E-Mail
Scholar, Los Angeles, USA
Interests: gender; postcolonialism; religion; architecture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Why sacred spaces? Why are they important when they seemingly address only a specific sector of global societies? In fact, the truth is far more exciting and complex. Sacred spaces physically articulate our identities by expressing the most fundamental political, cultural, and ethical beliefs we as individuals and collectives, hold. Imagine what activities occur within and near sacred spaces, the physical interaction, negotiation, and contestation of our values and principles and we can see that sacred spaces reflect how we see ourselves and how we see others. The issues encompass not just religious doctrine as they form spaces, but how secular, political institutions interact with and shape them. Investigating sacred spaces allows us to identify and better comprehend how people define themselves, insider vs. outsider positions, secular and religious belief, as well as how these are constructed physically through the body and spatially through structures. Because they spotlight and condense peoples’ most strongly-held beliefs and behaviors, sacred spaces are central to our understanding of cultures.

I invite scholars to investigate sacred spaces of any religion, both contemporary and of the historical past through interdisciplinary lenses. Using anthropology, archaeology, and geography alongside philosophical studies from countries in East Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, we can explicate the meaning and significance of sacred spaces.

(1) The outline of the Special Issue;

This Special Issue allows investigators to delve into the cross-disciplinary questions involving sacred spaces, a subject that is too often confined solely to architectural journals and literature. To explore topics of body, culture, history, identity, and politics as they influence sacred spaces more thoroughly requires the work of researchers from fields, such as those aforementioned, in addition to architectural historians.

(2) How the issue will usefully supplement (relate to) existing literature.

Research on sacred spaces has been dominated by architectural historians, which has limited discussions to spatial considerations. Cross-disciplinary investigations will offer fresh perspectives on the significance of sacred spaces within a larger context of secular societies. For example, it will expand archaeological understandings of sacred spaces, too often relegated to the distant past, as well as geography, which has mostly ceased investigating sacred spaces. By approaching the subject of sacred spaces through multiple vantage points, we can understand the material, as well as intellectual, and symbolic constructs shaping sacred space.

Dr. Sherin Wing
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sacred spaces
  • Religion
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Geography
  • Space
  • Archaeology
  • Social history
  • Epistemology
  • Space
  • Philosophy

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessArticle
Disused Religious Space: Youth Participation in Built Heritage Regeneration
Religions 2017, 8(6), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8060107 - 06 Jun 2017
Cited by 1
The rights of young people to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives has been encouraged since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Since then, policy-makers and planners have started to consider the views of youth, especially [...] Read more.
The rights of young people to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives has been encouraged since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Since then, policy-makers and planners have started to consider the views of youth, especially those aged 11–17. The size of the youth population and their feelings of social isolation are two important reasons to include them in the decision-making that affects their local built environment. Little is known about youth opinions of the built environment and in particular disused religious buildings which can become a significant part of local cultural heritage. This paper explores youth perceptions, place attachment and influence on identity of a prominent disused local Methodist church in the City of Belfast. The paper details the expressive methodological approach designed to encourage youth participation in the regeneration scheme. The findings of the study showcase the valuable connections that can be made between youth and heritage religious buildings through education programmes. The project conclusions also highlight the benefits to be gained from engaging youth in local built heritage and will be of interest to those involved in the design, planning and redevelopment processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Spaces)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop