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Looking Askance at the Sacred

Looking Askance at the Sacred

(p.153) 6 Looking Askance at the Sacred
Landscapes of the Secular
Nicolas Howe
University of Chicago Press

This concluding chapter considers the roles of defilement, desecration, and aversive affect in secular landscape discourse. It performs a close reading of a single line from Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si', and it briefly examines a lawsuit over the public display of cross-shaped wreckage from the ruins of the World Trade Center. Tying together different threads from the previous chapters, it reflects on the paradoxical fragility and power of sacred space in a secular age, and it further explores the relationships among landscape, place, and religious diversity in America.

Keywords:   Pope Francis, desecration, World Trade Center, social memory, place

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