From The Holy Land to Graceland (print version)

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Summary:

From The Holy Land to Graceland: Sacred People, Places and Things In Our Lives by Gary Vikan

ISBN 9781933253725

Paper

200 pages, 130 illustrations

 

Product Description:

From The Holy Land to Graceland: Sacred People, Places and Things In Our Lives

Graceland is much more than a wildly popular historic house and tourist destination associated with a famous entertainer, and Elvis Presley is much more than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. As former Walters Art Museum director and medievalist Gary Vikan shows us in his fascinating new book, Graceland, the second-most visited historic house in the U.S., is a locus sanctus —a holy place—and Elvis is its resident saint, while the hordes of fans that crowd Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis are modern-day pilgrims, connected in spirit and practice to their early Christian counterparts, sharing a fascination for icons and iconography, relics, souvenirs, votives, and even a belief in miracles. Vikan reveals the emergence of contemporary holy places—Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, Place de l’Alma in Paris—and shows us that the saints of our day are our “martyred” secular charismatics, from Elvis to John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, and others.

"What has Graceland to do with Jerusalem? Thanks to Gary Vikan, we now know the answer is ‘a lot.’ Connecting early Christian pilgrimages to the veneration of Elvis and his home, this book should be read by anyone fascinated with the King and the King of Kings, the South, or the relationship between sacred space and culture."

—Edward J. Blum, co-author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race

"From The Holy Land to Graceland is an illuminating tale for the modern reader. Gary Vikan deftly and expertly unpacks the sources and implications of celebrity culture through the lens of none other than Elvis Presley—perhaps the most enduring embodiment of American secular worship."

—Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director, Dallas Museum of Art

 

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