Monthly Archives: October 2013

Review: Nature as Spiritual Practice, and A Field Guide to Nature as Spiritual Practice by Stephen Chase

A review by Tony Watling of the two books by Stephen Chase appeared the Journal of Contemporary Religion 28, 1 (2013): 174-176.  Here is an excerpt:

The titles reflect the fact that, for Chase, nature is spiritual practice, it speaks, being sacramental, God’s language, sharing a common parentage (theological and ecological) with humanity. The books seek to act, in a sense, as eco-spiritual selfhelp portals and in this they align themselves not only with religious environmentalism but also with other literature that seeks to re-ground humanity, engaging nature intimately and spiritually, meditating, praying or worshipping within (and with) natural settings. . . .

The books are well written and express interesting ideas/practices (and ideally of course they—especially the Field Guide—should be ‘useful’ books, creating a practical engagement—moral/spiritual—between the people using them and nature). I like the idea of developing and encouraging specific creation practices, encouraging people to see nature as spiritual and to get out into it and engage with it in a spiritual way, to see it as a spiritual practice in and of itself as well as one linked to humanity.

Review: Seventeenth-Century Lutheran Meditations and Hymns, ed. Eric Lund

In the Spring 2013 issue of Lutheran Quarterly, Mary Jane Haemig reviewed a volume of the Classics of Western Spirituality series: Seventeenth-Century Lutheran Meditations and Hymns (Paulist Press, 2011) edited by SSCS member Eric Lund. According to Haemig, “This book fills a gap by providing a collection of readings related to a period often ignored in church history courses. It also helps in overcoming simplistic stereotypes of the movements traditionally known as orthodoxy and pietism.”