Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality

They asked me what I thought.  An academic and church consortium brought me to lovely Adelaide in southern Australia in March of 2015 to present a paper on ecotheology and spirituality.  That I did (the paper will be published in due course).  Along the way they also asked each of the conferees to take some quiet time to reflect about his or her own spirituality of nature.  Have I thought about anything else the last sixty years?  But I did what I was told. I found the time for my own reflection when all the other conferees were off visiting wineries in that, one of Australia’s richest wine-producing regions.  I absented myself from that trip, spoilsport that I was, since, following my simple, if not simple-minded, practice of many years, I had “given up” imbibing any kind of alcohol during Lent.  It would have been boring for me, and allRead More →

Endorsements for Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality: “Throughout my review, I have described Santmire’s approach as inviting, and I think that is one of the main strengths of the book. As I read the text, I felt drawn into the narrative that Santmire was putting forward, based on his own experiences. In this way, I agree with his assertion that the book is a “confessional expression of a particular constellation of experiences. It is not a scholarly study of spirituality” (xxiii). Santmire avoids two potential pitfalls that I could see in engaging this topic. First, he does not “universalize” his own experience by arguing what people should do; rather, in a memoir-like narrative, he describes his Christian spirituality of nature centered on his use of the Trinity Prayer, and then describes how that relates to his theology of nature. Second, his tone throughout the book is non-judgmental and yet realistic; heRead More →