Sacred spaces will showcase world religions


University of Colorado Colorado Springs students and campus visitors will have the opportunity to experience various religions of the world in a single evening Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the University Center.

Following a keynote address by Mark George, associate professor of Hebrew Bible, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, students and campus visitors will experience world religions first-hand by visiting individual University Center rooms designed to resemble sacred spaces.

George's remarks will begin at 6 p.m. in the University Center Theater, room 302, followed by visits to rooms representing six faiths: Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Shamanism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Leaders of the faiths will briefly explain what constitutes their sacred space and then give a demonstration of a typical ritual. Afterward, they will be available to answer questions. Refreshments will be provided.

"Many of us know what our own place of worship looks like and the history behind it," said Jeff Scholes, instructor, philosophy, and director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life. "But we know little about the sacred spaces of others. This event offers the opportunity to not only learn about world religion but to experience it."

George teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, its history and background, and theories and methods of biblical interpretation. His research interests currently involve the critical analysis of social space in the Hebrew Bible and its material remains.

His publications include "Israel's Tabernacle as Social Space," along with entries in "The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception" and "Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible," chapters in edited books, and articles in academic journals. He is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

To see a video of George, visit

Presenters of the individual spaces are:

  • Judaism: Rabbi Don Levy, Temple Beit Torah, Colorado Springs
  • Buddhism: David Gardiner, assistant professor of religion, Colorado College
  • Sufi: Christina Ahlen, Denver
  • Christian Taize: Frank Shelton, Colorado Springs
  • Shamanism: Roxanne and Jim Roberts, Colorado Springs
  • Hinduism: Jay Patel, Colorado Springs 

Scholes recently created the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life. The center's mission is to foster a healthy relationship between the university and the surrounding community about religious issues. The center does not align itself with any political ideology or religion or promote a certain approach to religion. The center aims to provide a platform for faculty, students, guest speakers, pastors, community leaders, and citizens to engage in scholarly efforts, open dialogue, and future action.

UCCS students who are enrolled in Scholes' courses "Religions Around the World" and "Introduction to Religious Studies" will attend the session. UCCS faculty, staff and Colorado Springs community members may attend the event at no charge. Space will be limited. Parking will be free in Lot 1 and the parking garage. For more information, visit