Lindsey Press, 2023

ISBN-13: 978-0853190981

 

Reviewed by Ian Mowll
_____________________________________________________________________________________

As Maria Curtis writes in the preface, this book is written by Unitarians…this book is for anyone searching for a spiritual response to the current ecological crisis. The contributors in the book seek to address this through theology, experiential activities, practical action, personal reflections and more. At the end of each chapter there are questions to prompt the reader or a group and there is often a short reflection or poem to help the reader to deepen their spiritual journey.

It is so heartening to see how close the Unitarian way (as expressed in this book) is with the GreenSpirit outlook. For instance, how life is seen as interconnected; the Universe Story and Thomas Berry are referenced, and the explanation of Unitarianism in the appendix has so many resonances with GreenSpirit ideas.

What I like about books with a collection of contributors is that there is a variety of responses; no one person has all of the answers and we need different outlooks to address the issues of our time. There were very few contributions that I wanted to question but I see that as a good thing. If the answers to the world’s problems were shrunk to my views (or the views of any one individual) then the game is lost. The response to the ecological crisis must be much wider and more diverse than can be contained by any one individual.

There are so many gems in the book, so here are just three of my highlights. Chapter 4: In Whom We live and Move and Have Our Being by Jo James includes discussions about God as immanent, panentheism, and the need to embody the idea of interconnection, not treat it as an abstract thought.

Chapter 7: Owning the Shadow, Becoming Conscious by Sheena Gabriel uses dream work which keeps the writing fresh and alive. The author is very well read and she talks about our need to face our inner darkness, reach out to that which is beyond and to face current issues such as climate change.

Chapter 11 Redeeming a Rubbish Dump: some lessons learned by Catherine Robinson is about rewilding some wasteland near Oxford. This chapter goes through the highs and lows of the project, spoken with honesty and clarity. Part of the project involved a landmark legal victory in the House of Lords and I felt myself cheering on the project as I saw it unfold.

From all of the many contributions in the book, I see that many of us are on a deep and collective journey of green spirituality, whether that is expressed through Unitarianism, GreenSpirit, or through one of the many other eco-spiritual groups on our planet. Individually and as groups, we are all instances of some spiritual force that is calling us to awaken to our connection with our precious planet and all that exists. This book brings this idea to life so well and is very warmly recommended.