Faith and Place: An Essay in Embodied Religious Epistemology

Hardcover | January 6, 2009

byMark R. Wynn

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This book takes knowledge of place as a basis for thinking about the place-relative character of religious practice, and the relationship between religious belief and our embodied life.Recent epistemology of religion has appealed to various secular analogues for religious belief - especially analogues drawn from everyday sensory perception and scientific theory construction. These approaches tend to overlook the close connection between religious belief and our moral, aestheticand otherwise evaluatively engaged relationship to the world. If we take knowledge of place as a starting point for religious epistemology, this book proposes, then we will be able to bring into clearer focus the embodied, action-orienting, perception-structuring, and affect-infused character ofreligious understanding.Mark R. Wynn explores how the religious significance of particular places is a function of their microcosmic significance (or their capacity to stand for some encompassing truth about the human condition), their ability to conserve historical meanings (where these meanings exercise an enduringethical claim upon those who are located at the place at later times), and their facilitation of a material or gestural identification of a sacred meaning through relevant embodied appropriation of the site.Wynn suggests that we can think of God as a kind of genius loci, where the relevant locus is the sum of material reality. On this view, knowledge of God is not just analogous to knowledge of place, but consists in part in an integrative or synoptic appreciation of the existential import of a rangeof particular places.

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This book takes knowledge of place as a basis for thinking about the place-relative character of religious practice, and the relationship between religious belief and our embodied life.Recent epistemology of religion has appealed to various secular analogues for religious belief - especially analogues drawn from everyday sensory percep...

Mark R. Wynn is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Exeter.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:January 6, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199560382

ISBN - 13:9780199560387

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Table of Contents

1. The differentiated religious significance of space and some secular analogues for religious knowledge2. Friendship and relationship to place3. The supra-individuality of God and place4. The grounding of human agency and identity in God and place5. Knowledge of place6. Pilgrimage and the differentiated religious significance of space7. The religious significance of some built and natural environments8. Knowledge of place and the aesthetic dimension of religious understanding9. Concluding thoughts