Theology, Spirituality & Nature

Generic 1

Course Description: If you have ever experienced feelings of amazement and transcendence while walking through woods, sitting on a beach, watching a sunset, or gazing at stars, this class is for you. If you haven't had that experience, this class is definitely for you. This course examines the human experience of awe and wonder when encountering the mystery of life in nature. It focuses on Roman Catholic theological and spiritual traditions while examining other spiritual and philosophical experiences of transcendence through encounters in nature. The fundamental perspective of this course is rooted in revelation of the prophetic Word of God: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with God's glory!" (Isaiah 6:3). This course on spirituality and nature is based on biblical texts, the faith and tradition of the Catholic Church, wisdom from religious traditions and philosophy, and the words and actions of saints and heroes of the environment, for example, St. Francis of Assisi, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Contemporary social issues relating to environmental stewardship, wilderness preservation, conservation, exploitation, pollution, and destruction will be addressed from perspectives of Catholic social teaching. A central dimension of this course depends upon student encounters with creation and nature, followed by reflection on those experiences.

Comments: Senior elective.