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The Spiritual City: Theology, Spirituality, and the Urban

The Spiritual City: Theology, Spirituality, and the Urban

Philip Sheldrake

ISBN: 978-1-118-83047-5 April 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages


A Spiritual City provides a broad examination of the meaning and importance of cities from a Christian perspective.

  • Contains thought-provoking theological and spiritual reflections on city-making by a leading scholar
  • Unites contemporary thinking about urban space and built environments with the latest in urban theology
  • Addresses the long-standing anti-urban bias of Christianity and its emphasis on inwardness and pilgrimage
  • Presents an important religious perspective on the potential of cities to create a strong human community and sense of sacred space
Preface ix

Introduction 1

Part One The City in Christian Thought 23

1 Augustine’s Two Cities 25

2 Monasticism and Utopian Visions 43

3 The City as Sacred 63

4 The City and the Reformations 81

5 Michel de Certeau: Everyday Practices and the City 99

Part Two Theological Reflection and the City 115

6 Place and the Sacred 117

7 The Art of Community 137

8 Reconciliation and Hospitality 157

9 Urban Virtues 179

Epilogue: A Spiritual Vision of the Human City 201

Select Reading 211

Index 221

“This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of cities — and that ought to be pretty much everyone, given that well over half the world’s population now lives in cites, up from 29 per cent in 1950. In any event, Revelation makes it clear that if we don’t live in one now, we shall, God willing.”  (Church Times, 27 March 2015)