In traditions as old as the henges of Stone Age Britain and as new as Himmler's Nazi antishrine at Verden, in spots as inaccessible as the hermit caves dug into the high cliffs at Meteora and as crowded as downtown Bangkok, humans have sought ways to honor the sacred. The Encyclopedia of Sacred Places records the rich and varied legacy of this quest. In over 200 articles, author Norbert Brockman accompanies the reader on a Grand Pilgrimage to the world's most important holy places--ancient and modern, grand and modest, natural and man-made. Readers will visit sacred rivers, mountains, and springs; altars where mysterious prehistoric rites and sacrifices were performed; sites of miracles; tombs of saints; shrines for holy relics; and memorials to victims of the Holocaust, the atom bomb, and the slave trade.
In A-to-Z format, the Encyclopedia describes not only these places themselves but important related concepts such as pilgrimage, relic, and ex-voto. Each article examines the origin of a site, its history, and its meaning to the religious tradition involved. In addition to a physical description, each article provides details of a site's construction, its place in larger pilgrimage routes, and any difficulties a traveler might experience in reaching the site. Every article is followed by an up-to-date list of resources for further study, as well as cross references that direct the reader to related entries. A glossary defines technical terms specific to particular traditions.
With vivid descriptions of sites drawn from all faiths, cultures, and corners of the world, The Encyclopedia of Sacred Places will help readers of all ages and backgrounds comprehend both the universal human desire to honor the sacred and the infinite variety of its expressions.show more