Church of the Wild

How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred

Church of the Wild

How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred

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2024 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner in "Religion / Spirituality of Western Thought" Category

Winner of the Living Now Book Award, Church of the Wild reminds us that once upon a time, humans lived in an intimate relationship with nature.

Whether disillusioned by the dominant church or unfulfilled by traditional expressions of faith, many of us long for a deeper spirituality. Victoria Loorz certainly did. Coping with an unraveling vocation, identity, and planet, Loorz turned to the wanderings of spiritual leaders and the sanctuary of the natural world, eventually cofounding the Wild Church Network and Seminary of the Wild.

With an ecospiritual lens on biblical narratives and a fresh look at a community larger than our own species, Church of the Wild uncovers the wild roots of faith and helps us deepen our commitment to a suffering earth by falling in love with it--and calling it church. Through mystical encounters with wild deer, whispers from a scrubby oak tree, wordless conversation with a cougar, and more, Loorz helps us connect to a love that literally holds the world together--a love that calls us into communion with all creatures.


—Winner, Living Now Book Award


"This book is a luminous love song to the body of the earth , a sober celebration of interconnection, an elegant entreaty and a bold proposal for a new way, the renewal of the ancient way, a way of healing and holiness and prophetic enkindling. This book is a prayer. Intelligently shaped and beautifully written."

—Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love and Wild Mercy

"This book will be of great use to all who feel a little broken by the world right now--those of a Christian heritage especially, but really everyone yearning to reconnect with something larger. I think the wisest course of action would be to slip it into a knapsack and remove yourself outdoors to read it."

—Bill McKibben, author of many books including Falter, Earth, and The End of Nature

"Victoria Loorz has brought us her truth-telling, real 'kitchen table talk' in this book. It is deeply personal, inspirational, and spiritually nourishing. As you turn each page, you can feel yourself being called to get outside and connect with creation. Our natural altars--the trees, the waters, the sun, and the moon--are waiting to heal us."

—Veronica Kyle, cofounder of the EcoWomanist Institute

"Church of the Wild is about a very different church. There we encounter a wilderness that might be closer to us than our church buildings. Victoria Loorz's storytelling offers a Christ-tradition language much needed for new dialogues, and a path back to the parts of the Christian faith we have forgotten for centuries. Take and read, and let your body be-wild-ered."

—Cláudio Carvalhaes, theologian, liturgist, and author of Liturgies from Below

"Victoria Loorz has written a breathtaking book, bold and intimate, erudite and immensely loving. She does for Christian belief what Robin Wall Kimmerer did for scientific botany: invite it back into the ecstasy of a life lived together with all beings, into the poetry of sharing breath. Loorz has the gift of conveying profound messages in a light-hearted and light-footed--and outright beautiful--way that makes it impossible to put down the book. Church of the Wild is a groundbreaking account of post-dualistic religious experience, and an intoxicating temptation to allow yourself to love."

—Andreas Weber, biologist and author of Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology

"Church of the Wild is miraculous in its depth and beauty. Weaving rich storytelling with fascinating historical and theological insights, Victoria Loorz lays out a spiritual pathway rooted in communion with nature. Though Loorz is part of the Christ tradition, she speaks to all of us longing for an Earth -based spirituality. This is a sacred text for our troubled times."

—Mary Reynolds Thompson, founder of Live Your Wild Soul Story and author of Reclaiming the Wild Soul

"Victoria Loorz compassionately explores the people and ritual practices that remind us how sacred our planet is, for it is our first and foremost holy scripture. Her deep thinking and grand language offer us a great gift: the chance to renew our spiritual relationship with all of creation through exuberant and ethical engagement."

—Gary Paul Nabhan, aka Brother Coyote, Franciscan brother and author of Jesus for Farmers and Fishers

"A cascade of stories beautifully written, deeply personal, and refreshingly human. They invite us to create a narrative together for a transformed people fitted to a changed earth . Many of us have been waiting for this book. While it crisscrosses most everything, it is concretely about transformed churches, seminaries, and interfaith communities gathering to practice the future. Pass it on!"

—Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506469645
  • eBook ISBN 9781506469652
  • Dimensions 5.25 x 8
  • Pages 245
  • Publication Date October 5, 2021