A place to share : some thoughts about the meaning of territory and boundaries in our thinking about God and humanity

16 Jul 2008

This article proffers some thoughts in reply to the following question : how can we think about God in a theology that takes into account the concept of place in such a way that we are able to live together in a salvific way with others, sharing a place as equals? Concepts such as "territory" and "territoriality" are helpful, because they can be linked with "identity" and the need to feel safe. Boundaries and boundary markers such as walls play an important role in conflicts. The possibility of a "liminal space" at a boundary where eye-to-eye relationships may be possible helps to make "the other", the stranger, a human being with her / his own needs and vulnerability. Using the Israeli / Palestinian conflict as an example, images of God and their impact on the possibility of sharing the land are explored. Hagar, herself a stranger, experiences God's lifesaving attention and names God "God of seeing".