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Cultivating a Sense of Place: Contemplative Ecology in a Time of Loss – Douglas Christie, PhD

April 7, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset once said: “Tell me the landscape in which you live and I will tell you who you are.” Here we find a beautiful expression of the deep and fundamental connection that exists between place and human identity. But how in fact does place shape identity? How is it that our deepest emotions and values, including those that we consider to be part of our spiritual life, come to be so closely tied to the places we inhabit? What do we lose—in relation to our identity, our sense of meaning, even our sense of God—when these places are lost or degraded? Is it still possible to cultivate a sense of wholeness and integrity in relation to the places we inhabit? If so, what sensibilities and practices (especially contemplative practices) will help us realize it? This workshop will focus on what it means to cultivate a deeper sense of place and a stronger ethical commitment to caring for the places we love.

Douglas E. Christie, PhD received his B.S. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his M.A. from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley and has been awarded fellowships from the Luce Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, and the NEH. His primary research interests focus on contemplative thought and practice in ancient and medieval Christianity and on spirituality and ecology. He is the author of The Word in The Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Note for a Contemplative Ecology, and is the founding editor of Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality. His current work is focused on the idea of mystical darkness and the contemporary sense of exile, loss and emptiness.

Come join us at 1pm on April 7th! Free Will Donations are accepted and very much appreciated. Light refreshments will be offered.


April 7, 2019
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Institute for Religion and Science
(215) 248-7197


Chestnut Hill College – Commonwealth Chateau
9230 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118 United States
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