Backpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice by Belden C. LaneBackpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice by Belden C. Lane

Backpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice

byBelden C. Lane

Hardcover | November 12, 2014

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Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world's great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen,Dag Hammarskjold, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters - Bell Mountain Wilderness with Soren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh - demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one's interior landscape,and how the saints' writings reveal the divine in nature. The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the trail offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practicenot only with a wide range of spiritual writings - Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim - but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpackingis shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love. An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints explores how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing - an ecology of thesoul.
Belden C. Lane is Professor of Theological Studies, American Religion, and History of Spirituality at Saint Louis University. He is the author of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality and Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality.
Title:Backpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual PracticeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 12, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199927812

ISBN - 13:9780199927814

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Table of Contents

ProloguePart I: The Power of Wilderness and the Reading of Dangerous Texts1. The Allure of the Wild: Backpacking as Spiritual Practice2. The Risk-Taking Character of Wilderness ReadingPart II: The Pattern of Wilderness SpiritualityFirst Leg: Departure (Leaving the Trailhead)3. Venturing Out: The Irish Wilderness and Columba of Iona4. Disillusionment: Laramie Peak and Therese of Lisieux5. Desire: Rockpile Mountain Wilderness and Thomas TraherneSecond Leg: Discipline (The Practice of the Wild)6. Solitude: Bell Mountain Wilderness and Soren Kierkegaard7. Traveling Light: Gunstock Hollow and Dag Hammarskjeld8. Mindfulness: Moonshine Hollow and Thich Nhat HanhThird Leg: Descent (When the Trail Gets Rough)9. Fear: The Maze in Canyonlands and John of the Cross10. Failure: Mount Whitney and Martin Luther11. Dying: Mudlick Mountain Trail and the Cloud AuthorFourth Leg: Delight (Returning Home with Gifts)12. Discernment: Taum Sauk Mountain and Jelaluddin Rumi13. Community: Lower Rock Creek and Teilhard de Chardin14. Justice: The Meramec River at Times Beach and Mohandas Gandhi15. Holy Folly: Aravaipa Canyon and Thomas MertonEpilogueAppendix: The Meanings of WildernessNotesIndex