Locations of the Sacred: Essays on Religion, Literature, and Canadian Culture

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Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Aug 25, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages

Where do Canadians encounter religious meaning? Not where they used to!

In ten lively and wide-ranging essays, William Closson James examines various derivations of the sacred in contemporary Canadian culture. Most of the essays focus on the religious aspects of modern Canadian English fiction — for example, in essays on the fiction of Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan, Margaret Atwood and Joy Kogawa. But James also explores other, non-literary events and activities in which Canadians have found something transcendant or revelatory.

Each of the chapters in Locations of the Sacred can be read independently as a discrete analysis of its subject. Taken as a whole, the essays make up a powerful argument for a new way of looking at the religious in contemporary Canada — not in the traditional ways of being religious, but in activities and locations previously thought to be “secular.” Thus, the domains and modes of the religious are expanded, not restricted.

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About the author (2000)

William Closson James is a professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, where he has been a member of the Department of Religious Studies for twenty-five years.

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