In ten lively and wide-ranging essays, William Closson James examines various derivations of the sacred in contemporary Canadian culture. Most of the essays focus on the religious aspects of modern Canadian English fiction -- for example, in essays on the fiction of Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan, Margaret Atwood and Joy Kogawa. But James also explores other, non-literary events and activities in which Canadians have found something transcendant or revelatory. Each of the chapters in Locations of the Sacred can be read independently as a discrete analysis of its subject. Taken as a whole, the essays make up a powerful argument for a new way of looking at the religious in contemporary Canada--not in the traditional ways of being religious, but in activities and locations previously thought to be 'secular'.' Thus, the domains and modes of the religious are expanded, not restricted.
William Closson James is a professor at Queen's University in Kingston, where he has been a member of the Department of Religious Studies for twenty-five years.