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Short Response Paper 1

Prompt Description: Whether a rock, tree, body of water, mountain, home shrine, or constructed temple, sacred spaces anchor the foundations of most world religions. But, what is it that makes these spaces sacred? Who or what determines their ontological status as a sacred space? Who or what determines how long and under what terms a space remains sacred? In class lecture and reading, Eliade provides an explanation behind the
construction and sustaining of sacred space. According to Eliade, religious man (homo religosus) experiences some space as non-homogenous, i.e. a distinctive space from the profane, which allows the sacred to break-in to the homogenous and profane world.
For this paper, students will look at a few key issues related to Mormonism and the creation and sustaining of the Salt Lake Temple. First, students must integrate Eliades concepts of chaos/order and cosmicization to explain the Zion-Making Process by which Temple Square came about (be sure to detail Eliades arguments). Secondly, and in relation to this last point, Reading 10 notes that the Mormons early acceptance of Zion ideology created otherness between them and other Americans. In creating their own cities, homes, and temples (especially Temple Square), which were intended to reflect Zion on earth, Mormons believed in a strict sacredness of place, separating themselves spiritually and physically from the outside world. However, even at the inauguration of the Salt Lake Temple, a few non-Mormon, Gentiles, were allowed to tour the premises. The tourism of Temple Square has only increased in time and now stands as Utahs second most visited attraction. Using Reading 2 and Reading 11, explain the differences between pilgrimage and tourism with special attention given to how tourism at Temple Square took-off (and became accepted) even in light of Zionist ideology of otherness.

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