Sacred space is at the cultural core of societies. What we define as sacred speaks volumes about the values and social relationships which are most dear. Places in the natural environment, such as the Black Hills of South Dakota are sacred to one culture, but used by others in ways that do not show respect for the sacredness of the place. We assume that Stonehenge was a sacred place to the socieity which built it, but now it is treated as a sacred space in ways that are meant to respect the past. This is one aspect of sacred space that I have a research interest in.
My student Nathan Burtch is investigating built religious environments in their cultural context. In his study he is examining social relationships which render some environments sacred. In his examination of the Seventh Day Adventist committment to provision nof health care, he is seeking to define religious space as sacred or theologically important.