James K.A. Smith in Practices Making Community at Judson’s Didier Symposium

The Judson University Department of Architecture and the Association for Christians in Architecture will host the fifth annual James Didier Symposium On Christ & Architecture Sept. 15-16. …. This year’s symposium will include an impressive roster of featured guest speakers who will take on challenging and relevant topics: • “Places of the Heart: How We Learn to Love” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Calvin College professor of philosophy and author James K.A. Smith will address the Judson community, including architecture students and faculty, visiting architects, arts professionals, as well as place-based and home schooling educators. He will explain what…

The Old Regionalism vs. the New Cosmopolitan Hyper-Localism | The American Conservative

Marketers like Claritas Prizm have divided our population into 66 tribes with colorful names like Money and Brains, God’s Country, Big Sky Families, Boomtown Singles, and other such. And America’s Zip codes are classified by which is dominant. What seems to be happening is that, say, the Money and Brains pockets of Southern California identify more with similar pockets in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas than they do with Southern California as a region; and the same all over the country. The one exception to this is when sports comes on TV; for the duration of the game, all…

Urban Drama: Talking about Cities with Noah Toly and Milton Friesen, Part I | Comment Magazine

Comment is interested in cities. Last year we did an issue called “The Other Side of the City,” which looked at the underside of cities—the parts that don’t make it into the tourism brochures. Today we’re lucky to have two scholars and experts on urbanism, and I wanted to start with something that you would not necessarily expect: the pope. In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis has this little line about cities that I found fascinating. He says, We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly…

The Christian Case for Cities – CityLab

Eric Jacobsen is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Washington. His new book, The Space Between: A Christian Engagement With the Built Environment, makes a compelling case that members of the Christian faith have a special calling to care for cities, and that the form of cities matters to the success of faithful practice. The Space Between strikes me as important, in no small part because it comes from a movement not generally (albeit sometimes) associated, at least not today, with discussion of the form and structure of our cities, and thus brings what for many will be…

Building Houses As If They Mattered | This Is Our City | Christianity Today

Perry is the founder of Bigelow Homes, a suburban homebuilding company just outside Chicago. (His son, Jamie, now heads the firm.) Perry’s integration of faith and work began from the deep-set conviction that he is the steward, not owner, of his business. The orientation of his whole life, including his professional life, is Godward. Over many years, Perry has prayed, studied Scripture, and read thoughtful Christian scholars in order to develop a God-honoring approach to his stewardship of all the gifts and assets he has received. Based on this foundational desire to please and honor God in and through his…

Faith in the City: Part II, Will the New Urban Evangelical Change Cities? | Common Place

Those intrigued by the apparent shift among evangelical Christians toward a greater emphasis on cities would be well-served to read a fascinating collection of essays edited by Nezar AlSayyad and Mejgan Massoumi in The Fundamentalist City? Religiosity and the Remaking of Urban Space. According to AlSayyad, the project was an attempt to study “the relationship between fundamentalism as a concept and urbanism as lived reality.” It was an ambitious interdisciplinary effort with a global scope—encompassing case studies among urban Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, including American evangelicals—in light of “the unanticipated resurgence of religious and ethnic loyalties [that have] given new meaning…

Faith in the City: Part I, The Evangelicals are Coming! | Common Place

Evangelicals are coming back to the city, both figuratively and literally. The big change, as they are heralding it, is that they are now focusing their energy and new ministries on America’s urban centers. Some have even moved out of the suburbs and into areas of the city where they would not have imagined themselves living just a few years ago. They have come to the city, and people have noticed. A striking example of this occured when the Luis Palau Association began sponsoring a “Season of Service” in Portland, Oregon, a few years ago, garnering positive attention from a…

Sacred Space Smackdown | Cardus Blog

Alan Jacobs takes on Aaron M. Renn on the subject of sacred space in a blog post on The American Conservative.  Renn’s original post asks some version of the question, are American suburbs less than cities because they lack sacred space? Renn answers in the affirmative; Jacobs, not so much. In his response, Jacobs challenges Renn on a number of points of inadequately defined terms and formal logic, rather like a professor spanking a student for sloppy thinking in a paper. But I find Jacobs’ critique less compelling than Renn’s original question, which is a good one, even if his…

Pedaling Toward the Kingdom

In the recent Comment, Lee Hardy writes: As Nicholas Wolterstorff outlines in Until Justice and Peace Embrace, the Kingdom of God is defined by right relationships: relationships between human beings and their Creator, relationships between human beings, relationships between human beings and the world they inhabit. I take it that right relationships are governed by a range of norms or values. Among them: social equity, stewardship, healthy environments, and the delight afforded by true beauty. Although these values can be studied and discussed apart from each other, they all come into play when considering some concrete issue.I think transit—how humans…

CNU Illinois | STUDENTS: Micro-scale Urbanism

This student-led competition focused on using Lego blocks as a tool for micro-scale urbanism. It was up to the individual’s discretion to determine the size of their lego module. Some chose to use the lego module to represent brick coursing while others used the module to represent an entire building block. With this in mind, each student was given two rules: represent the idea of an urban transect through the use of lego blocks – and have fun. The two winners were awarded a 3D printed lego block for holding pens/pencils and the top prize was a wood engraved coaster…