Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Politics, Poetics and Performance of Sacred Space: The Sacred Space of Cook Islands Christian Churches

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posted on 2021-11-12, 15:45 authored by Kecskemeti, Maria

The current literature about sacred space suggests that it is produced through either substantive definitions of space (the poetics of space) or situational definitions of space (the politics of space). I conducted ethnographic research in the Cook Islands to consider how these two constructions of space interact to produce the sacred space of the Cook Islands Christian Church. I have shown that the production of sacred space can be described through three modes of spatial production: the politics of space, the poetics of space and the performance of space. They are enacted through social practices in an inter-related process. Based on these findings I propose a spatial triad model. I suggest that by moving beyond traditional dichotomous constructions of space such a spatial triad model can contribute to new understandings of how sacred and profane space is produced and reproduced.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies


Sissons, Jeff