Journal Article

St Peter's College and the Desacralisation of Space

Karen Wenell

in Literature and Theology

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 259-275
Published in print September 2007 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frm024
St Peter's College and the Desacralisation of Space

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The purpose-built seminary complex of St Peter's College, outside of Cardross village in Scotland, is a place which challenges, and has the potential to refine, our understandings of sacred space. Only in use as a Catholic seminary for fourteen years, the college now lies in disuse and ruin. At the architectural heart of the complex, the sanctuary once functioned as a place of ritual performance in the daily celebration of Mass. This article considers the college, and the chapel in particular, in context of the ethos of the community that first inhabited the buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, and in light of its subsequent history and current state. Theoretical issues surrounding the practices and beliefs of sacred space are explored in relation to the desacralisation of space, or the process by which the religious meaning of space is unmade.

Journal Article.  6817 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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