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Transposition of sacral space in Poland as a result of desacralization of sacred objects


Transposition of sacral space in Poland as a result of desacralization of sacred objects


Szajda, Mariusz



Academy of Art in Szczecin pl. Orła Białego, 2, 70-562 Szczecin, Poland e-mail: Ph.D.

Bibliographic description

Szajda, M. (2018). Transposition of sacral space in Poland as a result of desacralization of sacred objects. Sotsialno-ekonomichni problemy i derzhava [Socio-Economic Problems and the State] (electronic journal), Vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 214-226. Available at:

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Ternopil Ivan Puluj National Technical University







sacred objects



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A. Basista, analyzing the status of historic architectural objects, states: "The question, of what is the truth and the morality of architecture, is the most difficult"1. It is interesting to see the dependence between the former function of the object and the present or future state. It may be noted that in regard to sacred buildings, it seems important to respect their particular transcendent dimension. The paradigm of sacred architecture abstracts from the typically civilized needs of the inhabitants of cities and villages. Faith exists not only in statu nascendi, but is confirmed by centuries-old tradition. The sacred space is not influenced by time, reminding about it at the same time. It seems that temples exist outside the culture of time and space, obligatory belonging to civilization or being removed from it. Józef Tischner notes that desacralization exists because it is the other side, the reverse of the sacralisation2. If a man has an overwhelming desire to sacralize everything he meets and surrounds himself because he feels special, the natural course of things is the reverse process that balances the tendency to reach the good in the world of good and evil. J. Tischner, as a priest, recognizes desacralization, does not reject it, but treats it as a process of reaching the source. He notes that in order to know God, one must first know himself - a man who is the reflection of God. He writes: "The process of desacrification is a marvelous process. I see in it above all a path of man to his own loneliness. The man must finally feel the experience of being alone. He must take responsibility for himself. He must agree that he is free. And in that sense, he has to say goodbye to various deities that restrict him. Often this farewell to deities looks like laicism, like atheism. And in my opinion, in this desacralization there is a hand of God"3. The contemporary blurring of two opposing tendencies of sacralization and desacralization is an immanent feature in statu nascendi. This process demonstrates the quality of life and the possibility of discourse on confrontational issues that can be identified with dialogue between tradition and modernity. Homo religiosus and homo futurus should not fight for purely pragmatic reasons: Every fight leads to destruction, and none of the above human tendencies consequently cares about decay, but on the continuity. Therefore, the dialogue of opponents and followers of the actual presence of the sacred sphere in public life seems so important in everyday life. Nevertheless, in the process of desacrization associated with the transposition of sacred buildings, it is important to find a new function for the object that will not be in complete opposition to its original purpose. Therefore, adaptations, aimed at initiating functions related to the promotion of a broadly understood culture, appear to be as legitimate as possible. The major effect of the changes is, above all, the protection of the historic building tissue against their further degradation. The Catholic Church in Poland, having a centuries-long tradition and merit for the cultivating of cultural values, seems to be able to educate in a significant way on the promotion of such values, which will allow to bring them a new life on the social level in the face of devastation. It should be noted, however, that the sacrum in the public sphere is manifested not only by the implementation of the typically religious function of certain architectural objects, but also by the promotion of all values associated with it. One of them is certainly building, through good art, both visual and musical, the space of development of culture open to transcendence.




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Socio-Economic Problems and the State

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Socio-Economic Problems and the State, Vol. 18, no. 1



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