God and Enchantment of Place: Reclaiming Human Experience

By David Brown | Go to book overview

7 Widening the Perspective

Mosque and Temple, Sport and Garden

Before drawing the arguments of this present volume together in an Interim Conclusion, what I propose to do in this chapter is tackle once more the various issues I have surveyed over the course of the book as a whole, but in reverse order. So I shall begin here with architecture, then proceed to nature before concluding with sport. It may initially strike the reader as somewhat perverse to go over the same ground again, but I shall in each case tackle the issues from new angles in a way that I hope will cast fresh light on my overarching theme of the sacramentality of the world. Thus by reflecting on some non-Christian forms of religious architecture, I hope to identify more clearly what it is that has the potential to make buildings sacramental and how such pressures may actually be cross-cultural. Then the various approaches to gardening across the centuries will be used to complement what I have already said through consideration of landscape art. Finally, I return to the theme of sport, to see if, after all, there might be some sense in which it might continue to be seen as sacramental. The answers given will indicate why the present discussion must continue into a further volume.


Mosque and Temple: Learning from Other Religions

In the previous two chapters I tried to indicate some of the ways in which building styles reflected—sometimes consciously, sometimes not—the way in which God was experienced over the course of Christian history. Of course, not all architects were religious, but even where they were not a particular style could still work its effect in encouraging its own characteristic perception of God's relationship to our world. Admittedly, religious and non-religious alike (though for different reasons) can resist that impact, and so, no

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God and Enchantment of Place: Reclaiming Human Experience
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • God and Enchantment of Place iii
  • Preface vi
  • Contents ix
  • List of Plates x
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Sacrament and Enchantment 5
  • 2: The Place of Encounter 37
  • 3: The Natural World 84
  • 4: Placement and Pilgrimage 153
  • 5: Competing Styles 245
  • 6: The Contemporary Context 308
  • 7: Widening the Perspective 350
  • Plates 405
  • Interim Conclusion 407
  • Appendix 414
  • Index 419
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