The Politics, Poetics and Performance of Sacred Space: The Sacred Space of Cook Islands Christian Churches
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.