Creating religious place in Ireland: Hindu public places of worship and the Indian sculpture park
ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork
This paper examines the creation of religious place. It argues that the designation of a place as “religious” is a subjective and creative act which is dependent upon the perception and past, or memory, of the viewer. The paper focuses specifically on the creation of public places of worship by Hindu groups in the Dublin city area of Ireland and on the varied perceptions of the Indian Sculpture Park in County Wicklow. The creation of public places of worship results in places classified as “religious” due to the intention of the creator, the terminology used and the types of activities that take place in the space. This is in contrast to places such as the Indian Sculpture Park in County Wicklow which was created as a secular space but which is viewed by some Hindus as an outdoor temple due to the presence of sculptures of the Hindu deity Ganesh. Other Hindus do not view the space as having any religious significance and so its religiosity is contested. This points to the fact that the creation of religious place is a creative act of interpretation which is dependent upon the perception and past of the viewer and which changes over time.
Ganesh , Place , Hindus , Ireland
COLFER, C. 2015. Creating religious place in Ireland: Hindu public places of worship and the Indian sculpture park. Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2(1), 24-46.
©2015, The Author(s).