Week 2: Home and Hearth



Questions on the Readings

Questions on Heidegger, Wise, and Dean & Millar



  1. What are the basic arguments that Heidegger and Wise are trying to make?
  2. Heidegger speaks of four parts of dwelling: the earth, the sky, the gods, and the mortals. What does he mean by these?
  3. What does Wise mean when he speaks of "becoming-home"?
  4. How do Dean and Millar describe the way that visuality, and specifically visual art, establishes place?


  1. Do either Heidegger or Wise ring true to your experience of home?
  2. How would you describe the "home-ness" of home for you?
  3. Is Heidegger's idea of dwelling the same as Wise's idea of home, or is it different? If it is different, how is it different?


  1. How are the concepts of home or dwelling relevant to religious studies?
  2. What is the difference between studying home or dwelling using the humanities, and using social science? How would each define the object of study, and what kinds of methods would each use to do a study?


3 Terms

Place (Tacita & Dean)


Artists mentioned in the chapter Place: Entrance

Dwelling (Heidegger)

What is Dwelling?


How We Dwell: Heidegger, "Building, Dwelling, Thinking"


Home (Wise)

When we think about the idea of home, some other terms often come to mind. These include:

These terms suggest that home is tied to what is familiar and reliable. And yet, Macgregor Wise talks about home as travel. He starts off the essay talking about commuting. He speaks of milieus, and of territorializing. And yet, he still cares about what is familiar. He speaks of "rhythms" and "refrains", or repeated sounds, as being integral to our sense of home. There is, therefore, the familiar, but the thing about rhythmic sound is that there's also difference in the rhythm.

This course is subtitled "Meaningful Space", and this is a good place to start asking what that means. What do we mean by "meaning", when it comes to a place? Is it

When we speak of home as a meaningful space, do we mean any of these by that?

And, let's turn the question around - are there spaces which are not meaningful, which have lost their meaning or never had it? What do they lack?


Some topics on home