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Inhabiting the Sacred in Everyday Life: How to Design a Place that Touches Your Heart, Stirs You to Consecrate and Cultivate It as Home, Dwell Intentionally within It, Slay Monsters for It, and Let It Loose in Your Democracy
by Randolph T. Hester, Jr. and Amber D. Nelson
Foreword by Frederick R. Steiner

A comprehensive and inspirational guide to cultivating and preserving the best qualities of any community, town, or city!

People everywhere hunger, often unconsciously, for places to live and work that are more than efficient machines for economic living. They seek places that enable them to fulfill their humanity, that add meaning to their life, that reintegrate emotion with reason, that enrich one's self and community.

In their pioneering book, Hester and Nelson explain how to give form in everyday landscapes to our most deeply held values and most ennobling purposes, thus turning profane spaces into sacred places. This transformation, which gives people and communities a sense of nearness and rootedness, may be accomplished in both interior private and exterior civic spaces.

Shaping neighborhood and civic space into sacred place requires a partnership between citizens, government and public officials, planners and designers, and other interested partners. Although large-scale and complex projects usually require the assistance of a professional designer and planner, many projects can be advanced by individuals and community groups. The process and techniques espoused by the authors will also be of use to indigenous peoples, especially in defending the territories essential to the survival of their cultures.

This book was thus written to appeal to all stakeholders who embrace a place. It is presented as an informative and practical guide to envisioning and creating more meaningful and fulfilling habitation that harmonizes local culture and personal experiences. In the first part of their book, Hester and Nelson share personal stories—aha moments—that changed their respective understandings and approaches to community design. In the second part, the authors present six strategies for inhabiting the sacred in any place, no matter the scale. They open each chapter with a theoretical framework and then share successful case studies—from all over the U.S. and globe—accompanied by tried-and-true "how to" techniques. The book concludes with a look toward the future. Beautifully illustrated and highly readable, Inhabiting the Sacred in Everyday Life is sure to be a book of lasting value.


$39.50 U.S. (short discount) No e-book has been authorized.
Softcover with gatefold flaps
304 pages with 145 color photographs,
drawings, maps, plans, and diagrams
8.0" x 10.0" (upright/portrait)
ISBN: 978–1–938086–65–6

Published in April 2019

Published in association with the American Land Project

Distributed University of Virginia Press
No e-book has been authorized.

About the Authors

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