Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Vocatie si regionalizare cultural-spirituala a locurilor geografice. Relevanta pentru planificare spatiala/speciala

Puscasu, Violeta (2008): Vocatie si regionalizare cultural-spirituala a locurilor geografice. Relevanta pentru planificare spatiala/speciala. Published in: Papers of ERSA 2008 Liverpool (2008)

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Abstract

The study is based on the assertion that any inhabitable space carries in itself a cultural vocation, i.e. the favorability for a specific cultural product, and spirituality is one of its major dimensions, sometimes associated up to synonymy to culture. Among the range of cultural, artistic, political, economic and social categories, religion has represented a noticeable manifestation, and the monastic phenomenon in particular represents a constant whose regional materializations are various and active. The European orthodox cultural area to which the subject of this article is subscribed reveals a well defined contemporary contour of the phenomenon and a density of its material manifestations, accentuated by the favoring political changes of the last two decades. Banishing the restrictions imposed by the communist ideology has generated on the level of religious material culture a true “explosion” of worshiping places, both parishional and monastic. The number of orthodox monasteries alone in the entire European area goes beyond 1700, which cannot remain without an impact upon the various components of social and economic life and therefore, as far as we are concerned, upon the aspects connected with their regionalizing and the influence upon the physical and spatial territorial planning. Starting from a general, continental and macro-regional distribution and going down to the local level of internal clippings to which monasteries and skytes are subscribed, the major analysis of this paper is focused on the situation in Romania which reunites over 500 monastic establishments (second to Russia numerically but on the top of the list according to social density indicators). The aspects connected with the geographical distribution correlated with architectonic, historic and structural identifiers constitute a topic that has interested along the years either only a specialized audience, or a more recent category of users that have taken into consideration their touristic potential and, through this, the secularizing component of the market and economic value. The scientific literature is nevertheless poor from the viewpoint of studies regarding the role of the monasteries in shaping the spatial culture and in organizing space, and even poorer if we think of land planning in the contemporary world, few bibliographical references being hardly available. The western reasons are related to the relict character of the active monastic phenomenon, and in the east-European societies the reestablishment of spiritual life within the framework of democracy is still fresh. Due to the amplitude (at least material) of its reestablishment, the religious life becomes an important local cultural element that has to be taken into account in the contemporary European politics. The present paper, written mainly on the basis of field research and analysis, is structured into two parts: - the analysis of monasteries spatial distribution and the internal regionalization of monastic spaces using geographical criteria and the degree of accessibility; - the relevance of this material and spiritual identity level of the Romanian space for the directions and actions of land planning, as a special form of spatial planning. Since the paper is part of larger scientific endeavor, the present study is organized mainly as an argument for at least two questions: (i) which are the relations between the Romanian Christian spirituality and culture and the European spatial planning, and (ii) what role does local culture play in the process of regional spatial planning.

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