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Kirtland TempleThe Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space$
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David J. Howlett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038488

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038488.001.0001

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Parallel Pilgrimages, Parallel Temples

(p.207) Conclusion
Kirtland Temple

David J. Howlett

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter argues that individuals “build” sacred sites through varied discourse on what a site means. Indeed, each pilgrim and each site guide are best seen as building the Kirtland Temple and contributing to its collective meaning. Despite the relatively fixed location of the site, the agents who build the Kirtland Temple are actually in the process of constructing confessional and ideological sites rather than a singular site, temples rather than a singular temple. The physical temple itself simply provides the finite set of terms out of which groups have created many different variations. As such, the physical site itself has become a platform for improvised ecclesiastical performance and contestation. Moreover, various Mormon groups use the temple as a place to shape, transform, and justify their particular group commitments.

Keywords:   sacred sites, pilgrims, Kirtland Temple, ideological sites, ecclesiastical performance, contestation, Mormon groups

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