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

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, Apr 28, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 270 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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Contents

Introduction
1
The Protestant Voice
19
The Human Ground of Transcendence
39
CHAPTER 3 Nature as the Locale of the Sacred
61
The Canoe Trip
81
The Belcher Islands Massacre
101
A M Klein and Hugh MacLennan
131
The Ambiguities of Morley Callaghans Such Is My Beloved
155
Native Symbols in Atwood and Engel
171
The Journeys of Thomas York and Aritha van Herk
189
Joy Kogawa
213
Conclusion
241
References
245
Index
265
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Page vii - There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity.

About the author (1998)

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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