Copyright © 1999
Nature and Spirituality
Photo by Malak, Copyright © 1999
Exploring The Importance Of Nature For Our Spiritual Journey
Through LECTURES, GUIDED MEDITATIONS AND EXPERIENCES OF NATURE this 8-week course will explore the importance that Nature has to our Spirituality from the perspective of Science and Theology
In order to serve God, one needs access to the enjoyment of the beauties of nature, such as the contemplation of flower-decorated meadows, majestic mountains, flowing rivers. For all these are essential to the spiritual development of even the holiest of people.
For millions of people now, a faith that does not celebrate the Earth is meaningless or worse.
John B. Cobb
Week 1: CELEBRATE EARTH DAY - Slide Show:
Beautiful Nature Images of Canada. Photography by Malak Karsh.
Time of reflection to explore what these images have evoked in us
Week 2: Biblical Background
What do the Scriptures from our rich Judeo-Christian background have to say about Creation?
What does it mean that God has a covenant with the day and the night?
What does it mean that Creation groans in travail as in childbirth?
Week 3: Trees, Forestry and the Responsiveness of Creation
How can we enter into an I-Thou relationship with Nature?
How would we do our forestry differently if we viewed trees as kin?
How do we understand the use of metaphor for Nature in Scripture?
Week 4: Eco-theology and Science
What do Science and the New Physics have to say about the inter-relatedness of Nature?
What are the recent findings that suggest that Nature is intelligent and ‘informed with wisdom’?
Introduction and discussion of “The Natural Step” - an ecological model for business that works!
Week 5: Eco-theology and Religious Thought
How have people thought about Creation, how have they let it nourish their lives?
What do some of the Christian mystics have to say about Creation?
What do Buddhist, Native American and other world views have to say on Creation?
Week 6: Eco-theology and Spirituality
What is Spirituality?
What is spiritual growth and how is it connected to Creation?
How does Creation permeate our prayer, imagery and mindful awareness?
Week 7: Eco-theology and Creativity
(an evening of creativity)
An exploration of dance, art, ritual, mandalas, drama and dream symbols used as expressions of our kinship with Creation.
Week 8: Finale
Student Presentations (Poems, Plays, Art, Slides, Stories, Images, Sharing of Dreams and Symbols)
Course Field Trips
Cultivating a relationship with trees and nature
Marianne Karsh (B.Sc.F., M.Sc.F.) is a Professional Forester and Researcher. She has a Master’s Degree in Forestry from the University of Toronto and has worked as a Forest Research Scientist for over 10 years in Ontario, Newfoundland and Iceland.
Marianne is co-author of Trees, Forestry and the Responsiveness of Creation, published in This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature and the Environment, a text book used widely in the U.S.
The development and planning of this Nature and Spirituality Course has flowed out of Marianne’s passionate desire to connect people with the earth.
WHY SPEND TIME IN NATURE?
To maintain our well being, it is necessary to our spirit to connect daily with natural light, air, and earth. Biologically, in order to maintain our vitality and energy levels, it is imperative to be outdoors for one full hour every day.
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