A Poetics of Church: Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling
This book aims to create a ‘poetics of Church’ and a ‘religious imaginary’ as alternatives to more institutional and conventional ways of thinking and of being ‘Church’. Structured as a spiritual and literary journey, the work moves from models of the institutional Catholic Church into more radical and ambiguous textual spaces, which the author creates by bringing together an unorthodox group of thinkers referred to as ‘poet-companions’: the 16th-century founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, the French thinkers Gaston Bachelard and Hélène Cixous, the French poet Yves Bonnefoy, and the English playwright Dennis Potter.
Inspired especially by the reading and writing practices of Cixous, the author attempts to exemplify Cixous’ notion of écriture féminine—‘feminine writing’—that suggests new ways of seeing and relating. The project’s uniting of Ignatian spirituality with postmodern thinking and its concern with creating new theological, literary and spiritual spaces for women both coincide and contrast with Pope Francis’s pastoral and reformist tendencies, which have neglected to adequately address the marginalisation of women in the Church.
Reek, J. (2018). A poetics of church: Reading and writing sacred spaces of poetic dwelling. New York: Routledge.