Cathedral controversy to be studied
The controversy surrounding the future of the Christ Church Cathedral will be studied in depth at Canterbury University.
Researchers want to find out why there has been no agreement about the future of the cathedral, Associate Professor Patrick McAllister said.
''It's an issue that has not been resolved yet and we're hoping to bring a new perspective to it.''
The cathedral suffered serious damage in the earthquakes and its future has provoked public outcry and heated controversy, with people making appeals to local and central government and the Queen.
McAllister said Christchurch people clearly identify with the cathedral, and for many people it embodies the city and its history.
''To most it is also a sacred place, a place of worship, and as such it has a special status which reinforces its role as a place of memory and symbol of the city.''
In taking a position against the demolition of the cathedral, people could be protecting their identity, their link to the city and their link to the past, McAllister said.
The project would seek to determine if these assumptions could be borne out in the ways people speak and write about the cathedral, he said.
Information about the cathedral controversy including media reports, other documents and internet issues, will be collected and analysed.
The summer scholarship project will be conducted by a masters or PhD student and will begin later this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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