A Poetics of Church

Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Jennifer Reek
  • New York, NY: 
    , December
     224 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Larry Bouchard forthcoming.


This innovative 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. As Francis has called for ‘a theology of women’, of which there are, of course, many to draw from, this volume will be a timely contribution with a unique interdisciplinary approach.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jennifer Reek's work has appeared in journals such as Literature and Theology and Contemporary Women’s Writing. She is co-editor of the forthcoming fourth volume of the Routledge Power of the Word series, Thresholds of Wonder: Poetry, Philosophy and Theology in Conversation. Currently, she teaches seminars in Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments