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Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today



Place is fundamental to human existence. However, we have lost the very human sense of place amid the time-space compression characteristic of postmodernity and globalization. Craig Bartholomew provides a biblical, theological, and philosophical grounding for place in our rootless culture and articulates a hopeful Christian vision of placemaking for today’s world. He illuminates the importance of place throughout the biblical canon, in the Christian tradition, and in the contours of contemporary thought. Where Mortals Dwell will be of interest to professors and students in Bible, culture, environment, and practical theology courses, as well as thoughtful laity and pastors interested in place and related environmental themes.

The Logos Bible Software edition of Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of the Bible. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about interpreting the Bible.

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Key Features

  • Explores the structure of place
  • Illuminates the importance of place throughout the biblical canon
  • Highlights some of the central elements that constitute place


  • Part 1: Place in the Bible
    • The Theology of Place in Genesis 1–3
    • Outside Eden: Building Cities
    • The Nations, Abraham, and Journeying to the Land
    • Place, Law, and Ritual
    • Place in the Historical Books, the Prophets, and the Wisdom Literature
    • Place in the Gospels
    • Place in Paul
    • Place in the General Epistles
  • Part 2: Place in the Western Philosophical and Christian Traditions
    • Place in the Western Philosophical Tradition
    • Place in the Christian Tradition: Introduction
    • Early Church Fathers
    • The Middle Ages, the Reformers, and the Protestant Tradition
    • The Modern Period
    • Contemporary Theologies of Place
  • Part 3: A Christian View of Place for Today
    • Contours of a Christian View of Place
    • Placemaking and the City
    • Placemaking in Garden and Home
    • Placemaking in Various Facets of Life

Praise for the Print Edition

This study in theology that builds from a biblical base and moves to discussions of urban planning, biotic community, and pilgrimage—and even includes maps—may well be unprecedented. The very fact that this assemblage of concerns comes as a surprise to the reader points to the need for this study of what it means to come before God in our places.

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School

Craig Bartholomew’s Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today is a stunning achievement. The book masterfully surveys the role of place in the Bible, helpfully looks at the role place has played in the Western philosophical tradition, and concludes with satisfying advice, both theoretical and practical, as to how contemporary Christians should think about place as they engage in the crucial work of placemaking. It is rare to find an author with such command of biblical, theological, and philosophical issues, who provides original, powerful ideas delivered in clear, sparkling prose.

C. Stephen Evans, distinguished professor of philosophy and humanities, Baylor University

In this ambitious new book Craig Bartholomew has assembled a remarkable range of ideas and resources for the work of making our world a place that glorifies God. Drawing on scholarship in biblical studies, theology, philosophy, and cultural studies, Bartholomew advances distinctly Christian thinking about place in a significant way.

—Norman Wirzba, research professor of theology, ecology, and rural life, Duke Divinity School

Place affects us all, but reflections about its significance are scarce—especially thoroughly Christian reflections. This outstanding book therefore deserves your attention. The entire teaching of the Bible about place is represented here in one fascinating overview followed by an intriguing confrontation with Western philosophical thought on matters of place. Where Mortals Dwell is a brilliant survey of the liberating Christian concept of placemaking.

—Bob Goudzwaard, professor emeritus of economics and social philosophy, Free University of Amsterdam

This is a major work of theological rediscovery in which Craig Bartholomew imaginatively reconstructs a Christian view of human implacement. Bringing biblical, philosophical, and theological perspectives to bear, he explores unexpected aspects of implacement with ventures into ornithology, building, gardening, and the home. Where Mortals Dwell is an erudite, readable, original, and fascinating invitation to a theology and spirituality of place.

Gordon McConville, professor of Old Testament theology, University of Gloucestershire

Product Details

  • Title: Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today
  • Author: Craig G. Bartholomew
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 384

Craig G. Bartholomew is H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and professor of religion at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He is dean of the St Georges Centre for Biblical and Public Theology as well as adjunct faculty at Trinity College, Bristol. He has written and edited numerous books, including Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics, The Drama of Scripture (with Michael Goheen), Old Testament Wisdom Literature (with Ryan O'Dowd), and a commentary on Ecclesiastes. He initiated and directed the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, which now continues as part of the St Georges Centre.


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