The God of Wild Places: Rediscovering the Divine in the Untamed Outdoors

Rowman & Littlefield. Apr. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781538184448. $24. SPIRITUALITY
In this book, theologian and outdoorsman Jones (The Sacred Way) embarks on a transformative journey, poignantly exploring loss, reflection, rejuvenation, and spiritual discovery. His narrative intricately weaves together personal experiences, highlighting the profound connection between humanity and the natural world—particularly the relationship between humans, dogs, and hunting. He offers a candid portrayal of his own religious and spiritual evolution; he spent formative years in the church, became a minister, and later grappled with the collapse of his ministry and marriage. This introspective book delves into how he learned to accept failure as a catalyst for growth and navigate his changing understanding of God. He skillfully shows how the divine can speak through traditional mediums (e.g., sermons) but also through nature—a shift underscored by his own immersion in the wilderness. Drawing on classic philosophy, the book emphasizes the overwhelming yet grounding nature of the wild, where humans confront their fragility. The book includes notes and bibliography.
VERDICT A compelling, thematically rich, and deeply personal book, for readers exploring spirituality, personal growth, and the intricate relationship between faith and the natural world.
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