"Regardless of where one's spirituality (or lack of it) may lie, Barbara Mahany's The Book of Nature is a deeply rich celebration of the ageless overlap between religion and the many faces of the natural world--the 'Book of Nature' to which mystics, monks, and others have turned for insight into the sacred. Best of all, this thought-provoking exploration is wrapped in Mahany's luscious and luminous writing, which makes every page a delight."
The Book of Nature
The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text
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We live inside a nautilus of prayer--if only we open our senses and perceive what is infused all around.
Throughout millennia and across the monotheistic religions, the natural was often revered as a sacred text. By the Middle Ages, this text was given a name, "The Book of Nature," the first, best entry point for encounter with the divine. The very act of "reading" the world, of focusing our attention on each twinkling star and unfurling blossom, humbles us and draws us into sacred encounter.
As we grapple to make sense of today's tumultuous world, one where nature is at once a damaged and damaging source of disaster, as well as a place of refuge and retreat, we are called again to examine how generously it awaits our attention and devotion, standing ready to be read by all.
Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature, an experiential framework of the divine. God's first revelation came to us through an ongoing creation, one that--through stillness and attentiveness to the rumblings of the heavens, the seasonal eruptions of earth, the invisible pull of migration, of tide, and of celestial shiftings--draws us into sacred encounter. We needn't look farther for the divine.