Sins of Place: Christian Theology and the Practices of Placemaking

“Through an examination of the racial dynamics of placemaking and the abuse humans have inflicted on the natural environment, this project explores a Christian theology of place which takes a more critical account of the problem of sin and brokenness on the human imagination and the institutions we create in place. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Jennifer Allen Craft Point University Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

This book develops a Christian theology of place and placemaking which considers a deeper understanding of the Christian imagination bent askew. The first two chapters investigate the relationship between sin, imagination, and (de)formative habits as they relate to our sense of place. With this theological and philosophical foundation, it then addresses two of the central issues which problematize Christian theologies of place and placemaking today—our wounding relationship to the physical environment and our racial imagining which takes shape in placemaking practices. These two chapters will explore the common (and often troublesome) lenses of cultivation and transformation for understanding Christian placemaking, while engaging interdisciplinary perspectives on the ways that our placemaking practices often further contribute to racial exclusion and environmental degradation. A fifth chapter on the theological aesthetics of placemaking and how the work of beauty intersects with these realities will follow. The sixth and final chapter will ask the question, “Is redemptive placemaking possible?” and explores a variety of practical examples of organizations engaged in the work of Christian placemaking. I hope that these examples will serve to illustrate the ways that addressing sin in the structures of the human heart and society can empower Christian practice in place that, in the vision of the prophet Micah, does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with our God.