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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005
    Getting Back into Place
     
    Welcome break from visiting relatives-of-deceased, sitting at Neville's for an hour doing some reflecting on ministry, mission, parish, place. He's a 'retired' guy who's given his entire ministry over to the people of struggling urban places (Everton, city-centre fringe, Chinatown) and now he's offering time to listen to and advise a rookie urban priest like me. Lovely.

    Shared my observation that those who get carried away with concepts of network society / network church forget that the main use of the mobile phone - ultimate network symbol - is for people to tell other people where they are. "I'm on the train," "I'm by McDonalds," etc. Which is classic displacement / denial - and reinforcing this, from the back cover of Edward Casey's Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-world, which I picked up from News from Nowhere today:

    What would the world be like if there were no places? Our lives are so place-oriented that we cannot begin to comprehend sheer placelessness. Indeed, the place we occupy has much to do with what and who we are. Yet, despite the pervasiveness of place in our everyday lives, philosophers have neglected it.

    Except armchair philosophers like Neville and me. We know our place.