chapter  8
18 Pages

‘An altar inside a circle’

A relational model for investigating green Christians’ experiments with sacred space
WithMaria Nita

This chapter shows that ritual or sacred space both reflects and affects participants' relational identities, which can be challenged, disassembled and redefined by their engagement with place and materials. It examines some key theoretical positions regarding 'sacred space' and explores into the role sacred space plays in ritual encounters by discussing two important green rituals: the Council of All Beings and the Cosmic Walk. The chapter draws on empirical research at a climate camp and Christian eco-retreats to discuss how activist groups construct different places for ritual and worship, outside their traditional settings or churches. It examines how green Christians and climate activists relate to the planet through ritual, drawing out the role of the material objects used in the construction and performance of sacred space. The chapter looks at how green activists seek to create new relationships between humans and non-humans by constructing new types of sacred spaces.