No Home Like Place: A Christian Theology of Place Paperback – May 22, 2014
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I definitely agree that we have abstracted place to "space" where we struggle to find belonging, mutual community and a home in the world around us. The idea of recovering a sense of parish that opens up our lives to place, rootedness and our local context is an essential conclusion that Leonard Hjalmarson comes to in the book. I couldn't agree more and am so encouraged that such a gifted writer has written about it in No Home Like Place.
Leonard has written a beautiful book that touches on mission, community and formation all in the context of a theology of place. Without this there is no home for us in the world and we become fragmented in a highly mobile culture. Recently, some other books have come out that have complimented Leonard's work around a theology of place - The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community by Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J. Friesen; Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison; Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement by Michael Frost; How to be a Christian Without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community by Kelly Bean and my own book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together. These books have all come out in 2014 and there seems to be a new movement happening around the idea of place.
* Connection to place is part of our creational identity
"A rich connection to place is part of our creational identity: we are embodied beings and we yearn for roots. In our hectic and mobile and fragmented culture, and in a time when our cultural ideals of freedom disavow our need for roots and encourage rootlessness, our hunger and sense of dis-placement is only more acute..."
* Increasing fragmentation and loss of meaning
"Abstracting place to `space' was one means of escaping the bonds of the world. The results of that apparent `freedom' have now become evident in increasing fragmentation and loss of meaning, so that our experience is one of rootlessness and anxiety. We no longer feel at home in the world..."
* A recovery of parish
"A recovery of place will be strengthened by a recovery of parish..."