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Recently Duke Chapel at Duke University in North Carolina tweeted photos of yoga exercises on the floor of its majestic worship space as part of Healthy Duke Week of Wellness. Built in the 1930s as a Methodist sanctuary in the style of a Gothic cathedral for what was then a Methodist affiliated school, Duke Chapel is now nondenominational.
There are Evangelicals and Catholics who critique yoga as wrong for Christians because its mantras originate in eastern religion. Setting aside that concern, should worship space be open to recreation and “profane” i.e. secular activities? Tai-chi? Kickboxing? Karate? Spinning? Ballroom dancing? Salsa? Hip-Hop? Ballet? Volleyball? Badminton? If not, why not?
Catholic - Traditions - Worship - Spaces - Activities
Catholic and other liturgical traditions generally consecrate their worship spaces and open them to profane activities only after decommissioning. There is an understanding that the place where the Eucharist is served and the Word proclaimed is in some sense sacred, meriting reverence, dignity and protection.
Lower church Protestants and Evangelicals don’t always attach the same sense of lofty spirituality to their worship space. Many congregations, especially new ones, don’t own property, instead worshipping in rented school gymnasiums or theaters. Other congregations convene in multipurpose rooms with folding chairs, where space shifts from worship to meals to gymnastics or basketball.
Protestant - Churches - Worship - Space - Pews
Most traditional Protestant churches even if not very liturgical still have formal worship space filled with pews, faced by pulpit and altar, with walls adorned with Christian symbols. This space, while perhaps sometimes used for non-worship meetings, is still usually accorded respect and not host to recreaction.
Worship space for many modern nonliturgical churches, while not hosting recreation, often resembles theaters without much if any sacred adornment, often purposefully so,...
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