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Spaces for the Sacred: Place, Memory, and Identity [Paperback]

Philip Sheldrake
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 12.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2001

In Spaces for the Sacred, Philip Sheldrake brilliantly reveals the connection between our rootedness in the places we inhabit and the construction of our personal and religious identities. Based on the prestigious Hulsean Lectures he delivered at the University of Cambridge, Sheldrake's book examines the sacred narratives which derive from both overtly religious sites such as cathedrals, and secular ones, like the Millennium Dome, and it suggests how Christian theological and spiritual traditions may contribute creatively to current debates about place.

"Philip Sheldrake has enriched and deepened the idea of place by bringing history, cultural studies, geography, various human sciences, and literature together with theology and spirituality. He manages to do justice to the particularity of place in its many dimensions, and to connect in an accessible style with ordinary personal and social life in the twenty-first century. Above all he helps readers to identify and 'position' themselves in relation to the places in their lives, and to open up new possibilities of inhabiting them." -- David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

"'To be a person,' Philip Sheldrake tells us, quoting the philosopher Heidegger, is literally to 'be there,' Dasein, thus to be in a particular place. Drawing on a wide range of writers, from Duns Scotus to Simon Schama, as well as on poetry and his memories of his own childhood in Dorset, Sheldrake offers a rich and original way of meditating on the importance of place and places in our lives." -- Fergus Kerr, OP, Regent of Studies, Blackfriars, Oxford

"At a time when -- in the modern metropolis -- time has been usurped by space, and space has become everywhere the same, the same fluorescent lit shopping malls and suburban lawns, Philip Sheldrake's Hulsean Lectures seek to reclaim 'space' as a fundamental Christian category, as the space which God makes in coming to us at a particular time and place. Inspired by Duns Scotus and Michel de Certeau, and the Ignatian Exercises, Sheldrake explores the tensions in Christian tradition between the particular and the universal stability and pilgrimage, the places we inhabit and from which we must depart. This gently passionate book will be welcomed by all concerned with traversing the modern city, and who wish to journey with the man who made space for others, but had nowhere to lay his head." -- Gerard Loughlin, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne


Frequently Bought Together

Spaces for the Sacred: Place, Memory, and Identity + A Christian Theology of Place (Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology) + Land Revised Edition (Overtures to Biblical Theology): Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith
Price For All Three: 42.53

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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (4 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801868610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801868610
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

The subject before him is enormous, yet he succeeds in giving a comprehensive and provocative evaluation. If this reviewer were preparing a course on Christian spirituality, Spaces for the Sacred would be required reading.

(G. P. Mellick Belshaw Anglican Theological Review)

In Sheldrake's competent hands, place offers a locus for deepening our understanding of both religious experience and identity.

(Theological Studies 1900-01-00)

This is a creative, thought-provoking work of scholarship that offers a multifaceted exploration of the idea of place within the Christian tradition. Sheldrake's intimate familiarity with theological language and thought enable him to do what no one else before him has done, namely set the current 'crisis of place' against a centuries-old backdrop of thinking and reflection on place as a key category for understanding religious experience and identity.

(Douglas Burton-Christie, Loyola Marymount University)

About the Author

Philip Sheldrake is vice-principal and academic director of Sarum College, Salisbury, and honorary professor at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and visiting professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several books, including Spirituality and History.


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Our preoccupation with the turn of the millennium has once again focused attention on the categories of human experience that have the greatest impact on the way we see the world. Read the first page
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent series of meditations 19 Feb 2013
By Nicky01
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book based on a lecture series, the first chapter is the best and I have returned to it again and again. The book is worth it for this alone. It is throught provoking and has a lyrical set of images on place and space and the role of memory. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catholicity of Place 10 Jan 2009
By R. Stander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sheldrake roots his theology the sacramental catholicity of space where the particular points toward the universal. Sheldrake says that sacramentality is not the "eccentric intrusion of grace, or godly space into what is otherwise a profane world." Rather we live in a "sacramental universe or graced nature" which suggests "God's free self disclosure and self-giving" and "demands a human response." He suggests that God is the only truly catholic place and yet the incarnation anchors human experience of the sacred in the radically particular. The beyondness of God becomes known in the particular, transcending particularity through an intimate "presence as action" within all things. Sheldrake draws heavily upon social theorist Michel de Certeau when he suggests that we "practice place." Coupling the ideas that places are never complete and always growing in meaning with the idea that catholicity is about "expectancy, continuous transformation and about a process of becoming" the world begins to vibrate with revelatory potential in any and all places but never contained fully in any one.
One of the most powerful contributions that Sheldrake offers readers is Eucharistic places. Sacramentalism must mean more than a simply "graced world;" a fully sacramental approach to place is necessarily an ethical approach. The Eucharist is an "enactment of the special (and ethical) identity of the Christian community" which is to re-enacted in the rest of the world through further reconciliation and solidarity. And since places are always changing, we strive for a universal reconciliation and redemption of the broken world. This Eucharistic practice shapes the body of Christ in particular ways, and the space in which the body occupies offers a profound freedom to each member against homogenization of place and people. These places of reconciliation the body of Christ fills become places of hope amidst despair. The places become places of profoundly contradictory and ambiguous memory: where despair and horror are reconfigured, but not suppressed, into the narrative of Christ.
I highly recommend Sheldrake's proposal and potentials for those wanting to consider a sacramental vision of place.
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