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City Futures

March 24, 2010

I’m reading the Old Testament prophets for descriptions of the City and wondering about contemporary analogues. I want to read the prophets, and their visions of the future city, as if they meant us to take these visions seriously in our day, and not relegate them to some far-off imagined future. In this way we are motivated for action to create today little snapshots of what that future might be like.

The most common prompting is towards a question which forces me to think of how this comment might be made true of my city, Belfast. So when Isaiah says this, in chp 52:1

Awake, awake, O Zion,
clothe yourself with strength.
Put on your garments of splendor,
O Jerusalem, the holy city.

I’m moved to ask about ‘garments of splendour’, and what might it mean for a city to clothe itself in garments of splendour? Has Belfast ever clothed itself in this way? Has any city you are aware of done it? When has your city dressed in it’s finest and what did this do for the citizenry? What did it awake from?

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