By Martyn Smith (auth.)
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Additional info for Religion, Culture, and Sacred Space
If we imagine a married 34 / religion, culture, and sacred space woman from Georgia who regularly attends a Southern Baptist church, then the equation is suddenly jumbled. The small town sites in Idaho would mean nothing to her, nor would the sites relating to gay culture or Mormon history—although conceivably both could find common ground at sites of national importance in Philadelphia. This woman would have her own distinct set of significant places, aligned with her different levels of identity.
Obviously, something would be lost, yet all too often discussions about the preservation of culturally significant places goes on with no attempt to care for or disseminate the texts that constructed those places. I should also clarify that this is by no means a grand theory of literature. If my central thesis is true, I think it sheds an interesting light on the tangible ways that literary texts are more than simply words on a page that can be analyzed and taken apart, and more than texts within the ocean of texts disconnected from reference to our physical world, but that these texts have various ways to reach out and shape the world we inhabit by means of reference to physical places.
Thus the changeover becomes emblematic of the basic divide between the local culture and the national systematizers who bring Abydos into the orbit of a central royal theology. Josef Wegner (1996) reads this change of gods in a different way: “In essence those very attributes which define the character of Osiris are already linked during the Late Old Kingdom with the name of the local Abydene deity Khentyamentiu whose temple and cult continue to be the primary focus of ritual life at Abydos itself during the Old Kingdom” (43).
Religion, Culture, and Sacred Space by Martyn Smith (auth.)