Sacred space is that part of the total environment which is perceived as sacred by individuals and religious groups. Sacred places may be conveniently divided into five generic categories: mystical, historical, and functional sacred places; and homelands, and places connected with the future fulfillment of prophecy. Sacred places of all five types are found in Mormondom. The temples, as mystical sacred places, were the most sacred. The Sacred Grove was the most sacred historical place. Utah was the most sacred present homeland. The future City of Zion, believed by many to be built in the future in Jackson County, Missouri, was perceived to be more sacred than Utah. Yet, present-day Jackson County was one of the least sacred places.
The study revealed that several major factors influence the perception of sacred places. There seems to be a direct relationship between an increase in distance from a place and an increase in the perceived sacredness of that place. In the early stages of becoming familiar with a place, a maximum of perceived sacredness for that place is reached.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Geography
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Henrie, Roger L., "The Perception of Sacred Space: the Case of Utah and Other Sacred Places in Mormondom" (1972). Theses and Dissertations. 4786.