Dotting the coastline of the Firth of Forth’s Northern Shore, in the East Neuk of Fife, Anstruther cottages are often a layering of varied patterns, textures, and materials: rock, sea-shells, brick, stone, slate, tile, and vivid paints accent the meeting of sea with shore, of the unfathomable with the domestic. A striking aesthetic composed of the numinous intermingling with the everyday (a Nazareth aesthetic, then) invites us to consider how design, architecture, and especially domestic spaces can concretely articulate human responses to the transcendent, to the “[G]iver of breath and bread, / World’s strand, sway of the sea; / Lord of living and dead” (G.M. Hopkins, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”).
In a secular age, there is a push to strip the public square of all signs of faith. But freedom of religion and freedom of expression are the bare basics for a people to call themselves free. Convivium is a voice for the rightful role of faith and for people of faith in our pluralistic society.