Homelessness of the Poetic Homecoming: Imagination, Idolatry and the Sacrality of Space
Elliot R. Wolfson, Religion, University of California, Santa Barbara
Coach House, Green College, UBC
Tuesday, March 27, 5-6:30 pm
in the series
Worlds of Wonder: People Making Places Sacred
“Historians of religion have long noted that a central component in the phenomenological constitution of religious belief and ritual is the notion of sacred space. Together with sacred time, the idea of sacred space orients one in the world both vertically and horizontally. In this lecture, I will explore the dialectical relation of the sacrality of space and the idolatry of place manifest in the specific example of Judaism. Central to the Jewish experience has been the tension between the territorial rootedness of a promised land and the exilic uprootedness of the diaspora. I will elicit a third alternative—what I call the poetic homecoming—according to which the journey home is dependent on dwelling within the domain of the foreign. This model fosters the discernment that not only is the alien not disposable, but its alterity compels a deeper appreciation of the intimacy of the space wherein the conflict between the possessed and the dispossessed is attenuated by the embrace of the mandate to love the stranger within.”
Elliot Wolfson Click link for biography.