A Poetics of Church: Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling (Hardback) book cover

A Poetics of Church

Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling

By Jennifer Reek

© 2017 – Routledge

186 pages

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Hardback: 9781472488381
pub: 2017-10-03
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Description

This innovative book aims to create a ‘poetics of Church’ and a ‘religious imaginary’ as alternatives to more institutional and conventional ways of thinking and of being ‘Church’. Structured as a spiritual and literary journey, the work moves from models of the institutional Catholic Church into more radical and ambiguous textual spaces, which the author creates by bringing together an unorthodox group of thinkers referred to as ‘poet-companions’: the 16th-century founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, the French thinkers Gaston Bachelard and Hélène Cixous, the French poet Yves Bonnefoy, and the English playwright Dennis Potter.

Inspired especially by the reading and writing practices of Cixous, the author attempts to exemplify Cixous’ notion of écriture féminine—‘feminine writing’—that suggests new ways of seeing and relating. The project’s uniting of Ignatian spirituality with postmodern thinking and its concern with creating new theological, literary and spiritual spaces for women both coincide and contrast with Pope Francis’s pastoral and reformist tendencies, which have neglected to adequately address the marginalisation of women in the Church. As Francis has called for ‘a theology of women’, of which there are, of course, many to draw from, this volume will be a timely contribution with a unique interdisciplinary approach.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Jasper

Introduction(s)

Part I: Home

1 Skirting the Edges: Tina Beattie and Hans Urs von Balthasar in Church

2 Gaston Bachelard Takes Us to Church

3 Transfigurations with Yves Bonnefoy

 

Part II: Leaving Home: From Temple to Text

4 What Is Church When Church Is Not?

5 The Poet Sets the Path: a Reading of Hélène Cixous’ Manna

6 (Trans)Forming Faith with Yves Bonnefoy, Hélène Cixous and Ignatius of Loyola

7 Poetry and Prayer: an ‘Inner Kinship’

 

Part III: Transformative Homecomings

8 ‘But Now My Eye Sees You’: Reading Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective and the Book of Job with Hélène Cixous

9 Believing as a Poet: ‘Writing All the Way Down’

About the Author

Jennifer Reek has a PhD from the Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts, University of Glasgow. Her work has appeared in journals such as Literature and Theology and Contemporary Women’s Writing. She is co-editor of the forthcoming fourth volume of the Routledge Power of the Word series, Thresholds of Wonder: Poetry, Philosophy and Theology in Conversation. Currently, she teaches seminars in Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL013000
RELIGION / Christianity / Literature & the Arts
REL067050
RELIGION / Christian Theology / Ecclesiology
REL105000
RELIGION / Sexuality & Gender Studies
REL108000
RELIGION / Christian Church / General