STAGING SACRED SPACE: A Ritual Performance History of the UMD Memorial Chapel
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This study addresses the interconnections between belief, ritual, and space. Through an examination of the Memorial Chapel archive, I trace the history of Memorial Chapel from its founding in 1952 through today, focusing on the tension between sacred space and secularism. In this project I examine how religious groups have created and utilized sacred space in a non-denominational chapel as well as in a nontraditional worship spaces on and around campus. This investigates how the chapel itself performs and how participants of religious life perform their faith at a public university. I examine the role of theatricality in shaping religious rituals and giving them potency. In the second part I document my ethnographic research with Lutheran Campus Ministry.