Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Place & Placelessness

I have discussed defining places in terms of embodiment and memory that give orientation to our interactions in the world. Because of these attachments, humans are rooted in place and we constitute who we are by our relations to particular places and not others (wrong side of the tracks). There is much to say about the particularity of place and our self-understanding. We are at home in our house, city, country and earth. Yet, for the Christian, this home is not home. It is temporary. There is a constant tension between our home here, and our future home…wherever that may be. Stanley Hauerwas’ Resident Aliens suggest that same idea. As do our ideas of pilgrimage, refugee, and the disapora. Combining these thoughts with orientation and disorientation, being in and out of place, home and homelessness, the tension for the Christian life becomes more evident. Considerations of place may be particularly helpful in elucidating these complexities.