Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daniel Karastai on the apophatic city

Daniel Karastai:
...In reading this theological landscape of the {New Orleans} Quarter there are two basic conclusions I come to: One, the Quarter is the Enlightenment dichotomy between sacred and secular reified. Two, separating the cathedral from the public square by making it a scenic backdrop was intentional:
"The original city’s layout is almost a textbook example of the Enlightenment mania for balance, order, and clarity.  The men who envisioned and designed New Orleans were fired by utopian ambition" (Powel 2012, 60).
Sometimes I feel like myself and many other Christians that I know are stuck standing on the steps – some sort of middle ground between the domains of the sacred and secular which seem to be colliding into each other. It’s as if the doors to the cathedral have been forced open where in one ear we can hear the congregation praying the Eucharist prayer “Lord I am not worthy for you to enter under my roof. Just say the word and my soul shall be healed,” and in the other the noise and music from outside can be heard with remarkable clarity. I feel that all the balance the architects of this great city tried to create has dramatically shifted. Something has changed...  Link

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