Sunday, July 05, 2015

ACS 7 Symposium: Seeing the Sacred in the Ordinary

I spent three years writing my thesis, and if you count my undergraduate and Master's degree, nine years in total were needed to finish what is essentially a book.

It only makes sense to share my work, and I was fortunate to find a forum to do so.  It was sometime last year when I first heard about the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality symposium.  The symposium conveners looked favorably upon my written PDF submission, and granted me time to speak at the forum.

There was plenty of information in my thesis that was better suited to modern media, like photos and videos, that I couldn't include in the PDF submission, so I distilled my main points and created a presentation that built upon the submission. I answered the question of how experiences of nature, and of otherwise ordinary things in our everyday existence, have been elevated to the realm of the spiritual and imbued with special meaning for individuals, societies, and cultures in the past.  The Gothic society of the past elevated ordinary material to something very special by seeing the principle of spontaneous generation in ordinary work.

The ACS forum also did a great job of fostering an academic community, and bringing together like-minded people. This point cannot be emphasized enough, and I wish I had video of all the presentations to share.  I met a fantastic group of people, and I hope to see them all next year.

The written submissions are available even if video is not. Feel free to explore the links below to learn more about the forum, or watch the youtube video above to hear me speak about my thesis.  The youtube video is my first attempt at editing sound and images, and I don't think it is too bad.

Do you have anything to add, or stories to share from ACS 7?  Let me know in the comments below.