Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cosmology and Sacred Landscapes
Keith M. Prufer
Cosmology is literally the “science of nature,” from the physics of Aristotle and Newton to the mythical cosmograms of Tibet. A cosmology is any composition or cultural construct relating to the structure and process of systems of creation. Included are the origins of physical elements of earthly or astronomical spheres, the genesis of the material world, and the order and function of the observable universe, including the planets, the solar system, and celestial bodies. Quite simply, a cosmology is any cultural belief related to the creative forces responsible for the composition of the universe. Landscapes are integral to any cosmology, though not all cosmologies emphasize that landscapes are sacred. Landscape is a powerful term, with considerable utility for describing and giving context to cultural beliefs and worldview regarding the natural world in which people live. Hence, it is important in the context of cosmology. People live in landscapes, but For ...