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Jutta Kirsch

Religion and Memory

The Importance of Monuments in Preserving Historical Identity

272 p., 23 b/w ill, 40 color ill.
soft cover
ISBN 978-3-515-13031-8


Two twentieth-century genocides set the context of this discussion of history and remembrance: Armenian Christians commemorate their victims from the 1915 Armenian Genocide in their memorial Tsitsernakaberd. And Yad Vashem is an international memorial site for the Jewish Shoah. In the process of coming to terms with the past and preserving the past, a transition to a comprehensive culture of remembrance followed. Memory as a cultural achievement provides ideal orientation for a modern approach and visualization of the traumatic past.

Both memorials represent multilingualism of postmodern architecture in their simple but modern construction. But already in the planning process symbols of traditional religions were vehemently overlooked. Nevertheless, the important questions were taken up: Where is the boundary between the profane and the sacred? How many sacred elements are allowed in the dialogue with the absentee? Despite all the assurances that religion should not play a role in the content of the memorial, Jutta Kirsch shows that behind the political staging and language of the postmodern architecture, a lot of religion is contained in narratives, symbols and biblically inspired texts and contents.

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