Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sacred Space: St. Stephen's Church

Let's travel up to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, to visit St. Stephen's Church.

St. Stephen's Church, in Arapahoe, Wyoming

Writing about these kinds of places can never be easy. The forced conversion of native peoples, the banning of their religious rituals, and the general taking of their land is reprehensible. In spite of these facts, though, my first reaction when I saw St. Stephen's Church was one of joy. How wonderful that the artist, Raphael Norse, used his cultural background to transform the church. I really appreciate these allowed forms of diversity, and I wish there was more of it.

Having inherited religious traditions that I'm not so sure I agree with, buildings like this give me hope that there is some room for creative reinterpretation. (Don't be pessimistic and tell me these reinterpretations are just window dressings . . . )

How would you paint your place of worship? 

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