Making Nature Sacred: Literature, Religion, and Environment in America from the Puritans to the Present
John GattaISBN: 0195165063;
Book DescriptionSince colonial times, the sense of encountering an unseen, transcendental Presence within the natural world has been a characteristic motif in American literature and culture. American writers have repeatedly perceived in nature somethingbeyond itself-and beyond themselves. In this book, John Gatta argues that the religious import of American environmental literature has yet to be fully recognized or understood. Whatever their theology, American writers have perennially construed the nonhuman world to be a source, in Rachel Carson's words, of "something that takes us out of ourselves." Making Nature Sacred explores how the quest for "natural revelation" has been pursued through successive phases of American literary and intellectual history. And it shows how the imaginative challenge of "reading" landscapes has been influenced by biblical hermeneutics. Though focused on adaptations of Judeo-Christian religious traditions, it also samples Native American, African...
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