This thesis is a study of the Sorrowful Mother Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary in northwest Ohio. First hand research was conducted at the shrine using participant observation and questionnaires answered by visitors to the shrine. Relevant literature is presented in three categories: discussions and theories of sacred space, studies of shrines within a variety of cultures, and examples of the many interpretations of the Virgin Mary as a symbol. Following the results of the research methods is a summary of the major themes that emerged from the observations of the shrine and the responses to the questionnaries. These themes are then combined with major points from each of the categories of literature to form a theoretical analysis of the shrine in terms of the its sacred space, the conflict between the religious purpose and business administration of the shrine, and the symbol of Mary and its meanings for the visitors.


Frese, Pamela

Second Advisor

Toensing, Holly


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1997 Julie A. Yeager