Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.4 X 1.6 inches | 1.7 pounds
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About the Author

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.


"This beautifully written book will be of great value to scholars and is suitable for graduate courses on contemplative traditions and on religion and ecology."--Religious Studies Review

"At once a personal journey, a scholarly treatise and a heartfelt plea, Douglas E. Christie draws on personal vignettes, his command of early Christian resources and his wide ranging study of contemporary nature to compose a dense yet beautifully crafted scholarly treatise that manages at the same time to be intensely personal. . . He wants to lift up the significance of spirituality in helping us to think about the meaning and significance of the natural world in our own lives and to formulate a meaningful response to the growing erosion of the natural world. Much will depend on our willingness to risk the kind of relinquishment that the contemplative traditions claim is essential for real and lasting personal and social transformation."--Spiritus

"This book is a remarkable and profound effort to bring into conversation and correlation the modern ecological consciousness together with the wisdom and practice embodied in the Christian contemplative tradition."--Cistercian Studies Quarterly

"An excellent guide for those wishing to carry forward their Advent and Christmas reflections on the relationship between the Logos&R and our material world. It presents a helpful collection of ancient and modern contemplative thought that can help bring us to an integrated view of nature and ourselves." --National Catholic Reporter

"The book is a veritable feast of wisdom... With consummate intelligence and probing imagination Christie lures us into seeing the beauty that lies at the heart of our broken world... The Blue Sapphire of the Mind is a beautiful and important book, evocative and alluring, creative and often subtle as it leads us to encounter theological themes in fresh ways." --Christian Century

"Christie has written a book that is at once beautiful and scholarly, both lyrical in its prose and impressive in its erudition...The Blue Sapphire of the Mind is a book to savor, a book full of surprising connections and beautiful images, and absolutely a book that leaves the reader with newfound hope about the future of our broken, beloved Earth."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Christie has created an important work, well worth the effort of reading...Christie has produced a welcome addition to an underdeveloped but sorely needed topic."--Parabola

"[A] profound and profoundly important book...Those who desire to live in touch with and to participate in the restoration of this luminous and possibly numinous earth will deeply appreciate The Blue Sapphire of the Mind."--Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

"Those in search of relevant and in-depth bibliography for thinking about the past, present, and future of the human spiritual relationship to the natural world will be turning to this book for many years to come...Libraries should have this book. General readers will be fascinated by its timely topic, spiritual depth, and engaging style, while researchers will be attracted by its intellectual breadth and extensive bibliography. While its use as a main class text may be limited to courses with ecospirituality as their primary theme, it could easily appear as a recommended text in a wide range of courses in theology, ethics, and spirituality."--Horizons

"In this remarkable book, Douglas Christie, a theologian and academic, sets out to explore the concept of contemplative ecology ... The writing is sparse and deep, clear and beckoning. " --Times Higher Education

"With this book Douglas E. Christie joins the ranks of Annie Dillard and Wendell Berry in their explorations of the challenge of spirituality to awaken and us to attend to the environment. Yet with Christie there is something quite unique in his contribution. He brings to bear his intimate and scholarly knowledge of the Christian contemplative tradition on the most urgent ecological matters on our time."--Martin Laird, O.S.A., author of Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence

"There is no one as qualified as Douglas Christie to write a book such as this. Along with impeccable scholarship, he brings eloquence, passion, depth, and experience to the discussion. Surely we need a contemplative ecology and this is a masterful work that shows us the path."--Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

"This movingly autobiographical and deeply interdisciplinary book links ancient monastic practices of contemplation to modern environmental ideas, especially as they are reflected in works of modern and contemporary American literature. In emphasizing acts of creative attention and the spiritual necessity of mourning our lost sacred places, Christie gives the humanities a central role in addressing the environmental crisis of our time."--H. Daniel Peck, author of Thoreau's Morning Work