• RIDLEY, David.

- The territory underfoot : a theological reflection on place.

Résumé de Thèse par l'étudiant

In this reflection on the nature of "place," I suggest that theological reflection has failed to engage the imagery and imaginative sources that are shaped by local tradition and bounded by place. This is a critical aspect of Christian theological thought. That horizon of significance which Christians call "The Kingdom of God" is found in scripture through the particular lived realities of the people encountered and spoken to. In a very real sense, the religious imagination is not otherworldly, but indigenized and vernacular. It is in the play between the horizons of significance, such as the large language of meaning provided by the Christian tradition, and the particular soils of lived experience that religious life is vitalized. This work includes a reflection on place as both a figurative and literal meeting between the teaching of Incarnation as a horizon of significance in Christian thought and the specific soils where the lives of the faithful are incarnated. As well, it includes a review and assessment of Mircea Eliade's understanding of sacred space as related to place and the poetics of space developed by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. Through these theoretical approaches, a specific case of the meeting of horizon and particular soil is explored in the writing of the Kentucky poet and essayist Wendell Berry. Berry's work is assessed as a form of liturgical language in the sense that it is in service to and reflects particular people struggling to maintain a vital local culture.