Pilgrims at Home: The Mutual Challenge of Christendom and Environmental Literature

Loren Wilkinson

Loren Wilkinson, drawing on such writers as Aldo Leopold, Wallace Stegner, Mary Oliver, Denise Levertov, Jane Smiley, and Terry Tempest Williams, argues that the relatively new genre of “environmental literature” is deeply consistent with a Christian understanding of place and our relationship to it. Yet, like the environmental movement generally, environmental literature often has a stance implicitly critical of Christianity. Nevertheless, the main themes of environmental literature—that we are meant to be rooted in a place, that our places are wounded, that place itself is a gift—are hard to reconcile with the implicit monism of much of the environmental movement. They grow more fully and consistently out of the biblical picture of human beings created as God’s image-bearers with the privilege of caring for and giving a voice to the otherwise mute earth. Mr. Wilkinson is professor of interdisciplinary studies at Regent College.

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Last Updated: July 15, 2003
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