The place in which we stand is often taken for granted and ignored in our increasingly mobile society. Differentiating between place and space, this book argues that place has very much more influence upon human experience than is generally recognised and that this lack of recognition, and all that results from it, are dehumanising.
John Inge presents a rediscovery of the importance of place, drawing on the resources of the Bible and the Christian tradition to demonstrate how Christian theology should take place seriously. A renewed understanding of the importance of place from a theological perspective has much to offer in working against the dehumanising effects of the loss of place. Community and places each build the identity of the other; this book offers important insights in a world in which the effects of globalisation continue to erode people's rootedness and experience of place.
Contents: Introduction; Place in western thought and practice; Place and the scriptures; Place and the Christian tradition: a sacramental approach; Place and the Christian tradition: pilgrimage and holy places; A renewed appreciation of place: an offering to the world; Bibliography; Index.
Reviews: Prize: Shortlisted for the Michael Ramsay Prize, 2005
'A wonderful book. I learned immensely from having read it.' Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School, USA
'This welcome book is a perceptive and helpful statement of why and how Christian faith needs to be embodied in places and activities. It significantly enriches the understanding of faith, and provides important help in responding to those who question religious symbols and institutions today.' Daniel W Hardy, Cambridge, UK
'A study that I judge to be on target in powerful and compelling ways. The opening chapter on Hellenistic background is powerful, the development in sacramental directions is most helpful. The work on the Old Testament is sound and well articulated. The push toward a 'relational' understanding of place, and the appreciation of the distinction between place and space presented in this book, will prove of great value to a wide range of readers.' Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary, USA
'John Inge's book is a welcome addition to the small but growing volume of literature reflecting theologically on the fact that we are necessarily situated beings... I agree with Inge that a new respect for place is vital in a world remorselessly globalised by the big corporations and the new imperialism; and in that respect his book is especially timely and helpful.' The Church Times
'... this is an excellent book. It makes a much needed contribution at a time when so much of the 'place' is derided, and all is movement and rootlessness.' Anvil
'The eleven-page bibliography shows the impressive breadth of his scholarship, and the footnotes [...] show the depth of his engagement with his sources... Readers approaching the book from an interest in Christian theology will find that Inge has made his case thoroughly and convincingly; they will not thereafter be able to ignore 'place' as a theological topic... Inge's approach is to be commended for accepting modernity's challenge to think critically, even as he rejects modernity's false assumptions.' Implicit Religion
'... John Inge's book is an excellent resource for those seeking a survey of recent work on the role of place in Christian theological reflection... a welcome addition to a growing field of inquiry.' Modern Theology
'... a timely and constructive book.' Rural Theology
'This is a very well researched book written by a former canon of Ely Cathedral... this book is a useful resource for study and reflection for a wide range of readers seeking to address ideas of place in a changing world, not least those studying for leadership and ministry in churches having to face up to the closure of so many sacred places.' Journal of Adult Theological Education
'... stimulating and important book... This book is a timely and rich offering to sacramental and indeed systematic theology.' Theology
‘John Inge's book offers a valuable unveiling of place as an integral category in Christian traditions and in Western society.’ Scottish Journal of Theology
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