Sacred nature Restoring our ancient bond with the natural world

Karen Armstrong, 1944-

Book - 2022

"Since the beginning of time, humankind has looked upon nature and seen the divine. In the writings of the great thinkers across religions, the natural world inspires everything from fear, to awe, to tranquil contemplation; God, or however one defined the sublime, was present in everything. Yet today, even as we admire a tree or take in a striking landscape, we rarely see nature as sacred. In this short but deeply powerful book, the best-selling historian of religion Karen Armstrong re-sacr...alizes nature for modern times. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the world's religious traditions, she vividly describes nature's central place in spirituality across the centuries. In bringing this age-old wisdom to life, Armstrong shows modern readers how to rediscover nature's potency and form a connection to something greater than ourselves." --publisher's website.

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2nd Floor New Shelf 202.12/Armstrong (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 12, 2022
2nd Floor New Shelf 202.12/Armstrong (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 19, 2022
Subjects
Published
London ; Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
205 pages ; 20 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780593319437
0593319435
9780593313404
0593313402
Main Author
Karen Armstrong, 1944- (author)
Review by PW Annex Reviews

Religion historian Armstrong (The Lost Art of Scripture) delivers a searching, spiritual take on climate change. Lamenting humanity's alienation from nature, she contends that if humans are to survive a warming planet, "we have to change not only our lifestyle but our whole belief system." To that end, she explores how a variety of faith traditions conceptualize humankind's relationship with nature, observing that some pre-Christian cultures saw nature as "animate" and viewed humans as an integral part of it. Armstrong delves into Chinese religious traditions, noting that they have no creation stories and refrain from giving humans a privileged place in the world, unlike the Old Testament's depiction of Adam as the master of creation. The ancient Indian religion of Jainism, she writes, holds that animals, plants, rocks, air, fire, and water all have souls and are entitled to the same courtesy and respect as people, and she encourages readers to embrace the faith's "profound empathy" for one's surroundings. The illuminating examinations of a broad array of religious traditions are thought-provoking and have the power to change the way readers see the world and humanity's place within it. Eye-opening and wide-ranging, this original take on climate change edifies. (Sept.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A best-selling historian of religion, drawing on her vast knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, describes nature’s central place in spirituality across the centuries, showing modern readers how to rediscover nature’s potency and form a connection to something greater than ourselves.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A profound exploration of the spiritual power of nature-and an urgent call to reclaim that power in everyday life"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world, a profound exploration of the spiritual power of nature—and an urgent call to reclaim that power in everyday life. "Much has been written on the scientific and technological aspects of climate change.... But Armstrong’s book is both more personal and more profound. Its urgent message is that hearts and minds need to change if we are to once more learn to revere our beautiful and fragile planet." —The GuardianSince the beginning of time, humankind has looked upon nature and seen the divine. In the writings of the great thinkers across religions, the natural world inspires everything from fear, to awe, to tranquil contemplation; God, or however one defined the sublime, was present in everything. Yet today, even as we admire a tree or take in a striking landscape, we rarely see nature as sacred.In this short but deeply powerful book, the best-selling historian of religion Karen Armstrong re-sacralizes nature for modern times. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, she vividly describes nature’s central place in spirituality across the centuries. In bringing this age-old wisdom to life, Armstrong shows modern readers how to rediscover nature’s potency and form a connection to something greater than ourselves.