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Douglas Burton Christie is Assistant Professor of Christian Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (Oxford, 1993) and is currently at work on a book entitled, The Texture of Spirit: Nature and the Poetics of Belief forthcoming from the University of California Press.

 

Abstract of paper given at Christianity and Ecology conference:
The Word Incarnate: A Christian Theopoetics of the Natural World

More than twenty years ago. New Testament scholar Amos Wilder called for a "creative theopoetics" to revitalize Christian theology by putting it in touch with its own most profound mythic and poetic resources. If we hope to articulate a viable, imaginatively compelling Christian eco-theology, we must do the same today. In this paper, I will explore one such resource, the contemporary literature and poetry of nature. In both its formal designs and its substantive content, it gives vivid expression to the quest for the sacred in the natural world. It can, I would suggest, help us reimagine one of the most important sources of early Christian cosmology, the idea of the Word Incarnate.

 

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