Divine Domesticity: Augustine of Thagaste to Teresa of Avila
This volume is a cultural analysis of the home during the Christian centuries, when home was believed to be heaven. It investigates the traditional belief in the divine indwelling - but by reversing the history of doctrine to venture doctrine as history. Analysis proceeds not by speculation on faculties of the soul but by research on actualities of housing. What did believers experience about habitat? its relationships? its rooms?
The book examines four cultural constructs of dwelling: the inn, the sanctuary, the villa, and the castle. Its focus is the hearth as the familial place. A lesson in alterity, it exposes the rejection of the divine indwelling as at home (John 14:23). It discovers a fundamental disparity between domesticity and the asceticism that dominated western civilization.