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The idea has been around for a very long time. You want to get in touch with your soul? You go to the countryside. To the mountains. To the sea. You go to a cave! And you go by yourself.
This is an idea with a long and glorious lineage: that the human spirit needs, more than anything else, peace, quiet, and solitude.
But what if it's wrong? After all, it was Michelangelo who once said, "I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all".
Joseph Campbell once said the transcendent, the mythological, can be seen standing "on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue waiting for the traffic light to change."
What was it Michelangelo and Joseph Campbell saw? What happens, from a spiritual standpoint, when people live cheek by jowl amid streets and stores, cafes and condos? What is it about the city that can feed our innermost selves?
Tune in this week and next, to hear from theologians, architects, pub goers, and city dwellers of all types, with their take on where they find the sacred, the spiritual - in the city.