A hermeneutics of sacred landscape

storm-sky-red-australia_81125_990x742From Belden C. Lane’s Landscapes of the Sacred: Geography and Narrative in American Spirituality:

Tell me the landscape in which you live and I will tell you who are.   —Ortega y Gasset

What we have here is a sacred, mythic geography, the only kind effectually real, as opposed to profane geography, the latter being “objective” and as it were abstract and non-essential—the theoretical construction of a space and a world that we do not live in, and therefore do not know.   —Mircea Eliade, Images and Symbols

Space has a spiritual equivalent and can heal what is divided and burdensome in us.   —Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

Space is the central fact to man born in America.   —Charles Olson

In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes America what it is.   —Gertrude Stein,  The Geographical History of America

We . . . need that wild country . . . even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be . . . a part of the geography of hope.   —Wallace Stegner

Our American land, too, is an artifact . . . The American artifact incarnates history enormously. It speaks, incessantly babbling myth. We should learn the landscape’s language.   —Henry Glassie, “The Artifact’s Place in American Studies”

A primal desire of man is the imaginative impulse—working under the special conditions of our time . . . to visit strange regions in search of such beauty, awe or terror as the actual world does not supply.   —C. S. Lewis, Of Other Worlds

The views of nature held by any people determine all their institutions.   —Ralph Waldo Emerson, English Traits

When the Romans sought to punish the Carthaginians for disobedience by razing their city to the ground, citizens of Carthage begged their masters to spare the physical city, its stones and temples, to which no possible guilt could be attached, and instead, if necessary, exterminate the entire population.   —Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia

What the Mediterranean Sea was to the Greeks, breaking the bond of custom, offering new experiences, calling out new institutions and activities, that, and more, the ever retreating frontier has been to the United States.   —Frederick Jackson Turner

The important determinate of any culture is after all—the spirit of place.   —Lawrence Durrell

Theological reflections on place can no longer ignore that the world of concrete places is full of exiles, displaced peoples, diaspora communities, increasingly inflamed border disputes, and the violent struggles by indigenous people and cultural minorities to achieve liberation.   —Philip Sheldrake, Spaces for the Sacred

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