The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology

Hardcover | November 21, 2012

byDouglas E. Christie

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"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." The future of our planet, which kind of place it will be, now hangs in the balance. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings ofHenry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that at the most basic level it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritualvalues. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings.These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet. Joining the ancient Christian contemplative tradition with the best current ecological thinking, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind offers a new way of understanding who we are in relation to the natural world.

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"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." The future of our planet, which kind of place it will be, now hangs in the balance. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and pra...

Douglas E. Christie is Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, and the author of The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 21, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199812322

ISBN - 13:9780199812325

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Table of Contents

1. Immersion in the Larger Whole: Toward a Contemplative Ecology2. Contact, or the Blue Sapphire of the Mind3. Penthos: The Gift of Tears4. Topos: The Work of Place-Making5. Prosoche: The Art of Attention6. Logos: The Song of the World7. Eros: Exchange, Intimacy, Reciprocity8. Kenosis: Empty, Emptied9. Telos: The Practice of Paradise