Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781933253725 Published February 2013

From The Holy Land to Graceland

Sacred People, Places and Things in Our Lives

Gary Vikan

Gary Vikan

Distributed for American Alliance of Museums Press

202 pages | 130 color plates | 7 x 10
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781933253725 Published February 2013
According to medievalist Gary Vikan, Graceland is much more than a wildly popular tourist destination associated with a famous entertainer, and Elvis Presley is much more than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In this fascinating new book, Vikan posits that Graceland, the second-most visited historic house in the United States, is a locus sanctus—a holy place—and Elvis is its resident saint. Thus 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 goes on to explore many other loci sancti around the world, including Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, and the Place de l’Alma in Paris. From the Holy Land to Gracelandexplores the role of our “martyred” secular saints today from John F. Kennedy to Michael Jackson.

The Scotsman
“Just how fanciful is it to compare the modern hold of shrines like Graceland with the tomb of Thomas à Becket in Cantebury or with Lourdes? Gary Vikan produces an improbably persuasive essay.”
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