In June 2015, the primary members of the Choreographies of Sacred Sites project and a few other invited scholars met in Paris to discuss sacred spaces. During our conversations,we agreed that a website of scholarly information and knowledge that would connect many of us working on a variety of sites around the world would be a useful tool to develop. Since I had a Luce Foundation grant to develop the topic of shared sites with a group of colleagues at Columbia University, we took it upon ourselves to start this project. We continued to meet with members of the advisory committee and other specialists throughout the year, showing them the site as it developed and incorporating their advice along the way. The culmination of the project after a year of work is here: sharedsacredsites.net. The Shared Sacred Sites team constructed a new and sophisticated virtual network that connects scholars across the world, showcases their work – both publications and research in multiple formats – and presents a substantial repository of works on the field of shared sacred sites. We also added to the site a new digital humanities project that revisits and analyzes the work of Frederick Hasluck through digital maps and interactive data visualizations. The site also provides information on the development and travels of the Shared Holy Places museum exhibit, first developed at the MuCEM in Marseille.
As colleagues who have signed up to be on our website directory, we thank you for your willingness to participate in this endeavor and hope that you will browse the website carefully and provide us useful feedback that will help improve the site. You can also submit materials if you’d like. We plan to launch it more publicly after a month or so. We look forward to hearing from you.
All my best,
Karen Barkey and the Shared Sacred Sites team