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Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today
Baker Academic / 2011 / Paperback
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Place is fundamental to human existence. However, we have lost the very human sense of place amid the time-space compression characteristic of postmodernity and globalization. In Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today Craig Bartholomew provides a biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding for place in our rootless culture and articulates a hopeful Christian vision of placemaking for today's world.
He illuminates the importance of place throughout the biblical canon, in the Christian tradition, and in the contours of western philosophical thought. Where Mortals Dwell will be of interest to professors and students in Bible, culture, environment, and practical theology courses as well as thoughtful laity and pastors interested in place and related environmental themes, including readers of Wendell Berry.
Place is fundamental to human existence. However, we have lost the very human sense of place in today's postmodern and globalized world. Craig Bartholomew, a noted Old Testament scholar and the coauthor of two popular texts on the biblical narrative, provides a biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding for place in our rootless culture. He illuminates the importance of place throughout the biblical canon, in the Christian tradition, and in the contours of contemporary thought. Bartholomew encourages readers to recover a sense of place and articulates a hopeful Christian vision of placemaking in today's world. Anyone interested in place and related environmental themes, including readers of Wendell Berry, will enjoy this compelling book.
This is, I think, a unique book. It takes the deeply biblical identification with place and maps it onto our homogenized world to see what possibilities we have for new depth, new beauty, new meaning. I found it unrelentingly fascinating.
-Author, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"This study in theology that builds from a biblical base and moves to discussions of urban planning, biotic community, and pilgrimage--and even includes maps--may well be unprecedented. The very fact that this assemblage of concerns comes as a surprise to the reader points to the need for this study of what it means to come before God in our places.
Ellen F. Davis,
Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School
Craig Bartholomew's Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today is a stunning achievement. The book masterfully surveys the role of place in the Bible, helpfully looks at the role place has played in the Western philosophical tradition, and concludes with satisfying advice, both theoretical and practical, as to how contemporary Christians should think about place as they engage in the crucial work of placemaking. It is rare to find an author with such command of biblical, theological, and philosophical issues, who provides original, powerful ideas delivered in clear, sparkling prose.
C. Stephen Evans
-University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University
In this ambitious new book Craig Bartholomew has assembled a remarkable range of ideas and resources for the work of making our world a place that glorifies God. Drawing on scholarship in biblical studies, theology, philosophy, and cultural studies, Bartholomew advances distinctly Christian thinking about place in a significant way.
Research Professor of Theology, Ecology, and Rural Life, Duke Divinity School
Place affects us all, but reflections about its significance are scarce--especially thoroughly Christian reflections. This outstanding book therefore deserves your attention. The entire teaching of the Bible about place is represented here in one fascinating overview followed by an intriguing confrontation with Western philosophical thought on matters of place. Where Mortals Dwell is a brilliant survey of the liberating Christian concept of placemaking.
Professor Emeritus of Economics and Social Philosophy, Free University of Amsterdam
Ever since Walter Brueggemann's groundbreaking study The Land in 1977 we have been waiting for a comprehensive Christian theology of place. Where Mortals Dwell represents a significant step in that direction. In it, Bartholomew sets the agenda for Christians to think about both place and placemaking, shaping this long-overdue conversation for years to come.
Eric O. Jacobsen,
Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, Washington; author, Sidewalks in the Kingdom
In this comprehensive and detailed overview of scriptural, philosophical, and theological traditions, Craig Bartholomew offers a superb exploration and affirmation of the centrality of place in Christian thought and life. This book will be an important interdisciplinary resource wherever academic consideration is given to the art of human dwelling or implacement. Where Mortals Dwell is set to become the standard work in this emerging field.
-Peter Manley Scott,
Senior Lecturer in Christian Social Thought and Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester
This is a major work of theological rediscovery in which Craig Bartholomew imaginatively reconstructs a Christian view of human implacement. Bringing biblical, philosophical, and theological perspectives to bear, he explores unexpected aspects of implacement with ventures into ornithology, building, gardening, and the home. Where Mortals Dwell is an erudite, readable, original, and fascinating invitation to a theology and spirituality of place.
Professor of Old Testament theology, University of Gloucestershire
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