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Chapter 2 - A Sacramental World

Refiguring the Sacred and the Secular in David Jasper’s ‘Sacred’ Trilogy

from Part I - Jasper’s Sacred Mode of Being

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2021

Andrew W. Hass
Affiliation:
University of Stirling
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Summary

In the titles and subtitles of David Jasper’s ‘sacred trilogy’ the word ‘sacrament’ appears only in his third book, but Jasper adopts the language of sacrament throughout to designate the way that transcendent reality becomes wholly immanent and gives rise to silence. Sacrament is thus no longer understood to be a manifestation of the divine through a material thing but as the silence of what Jasper names as “Total Presence”, instantiated in both the textual body of the world and in human bodies that make a journey into the desert place. This sacramental phenomenon comes to a focus in the text of poetry, novels, the visual arts and music. This chapter reflects on the extent to which this refiguring of sacrament might enable us to re-think the boundary between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’ which seems to persist in our late-modern age. It does so by developing five themes in relation to sacrament: the death of God and universality; the sacred; inside/outside of the text; participating in Christ; and community.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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