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Norman Wirzba

Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology
Divinity School
Duke Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708
407 Chapel Drive, 211B Gray Building, Durham, NC 27708

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - America's Sacred Spaces · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Information, Society & Culture

The United States possesses singular places where citizens and others can visit to absorb elements of the nation’s depth of pain, triumph, awe, reverence, disappointments and dreams. “Sacred spaces” in this context refers to understanding America by literally standing in places and taking in layers of meaning that plumb the depths of our national character.   This pilot project will launch a multiyear, in-depth documentary research initiative to tell stories of 40 essential American places that enhance our understanding of the United States. This initiative will result in a field guide to the meaning of this country—a pilgrim’s itinerary into the soul of America. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a website, app and book that will provide orientations in text, maps and pictures of the country’s most sacred spaces. These tools will provide tangible lessons in civics, history, cultures and geographies, all combining to ground the traveler in our common heritage.