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Religions 2019, 10(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020086

Charged Moments: Landscape and the Experience of the Sacred among Catholic Monks in North America

Faculty of Environment and Department of Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Space and Place)
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Abstract

In light of calls to ‘re-enchant’ the world in the face of our ecological crisis, where do Christians stand on the question of land being sacred? I put this question to monks living at four monastic communities in the American West. For monks living on the land, the world is sacramental of God’s presence. However, this sacramental character was not universally recognized as being sacred, or divine. The monastic presence on the land can give places a sacred character through their work and prayer. Far fewer monks admitted that land was intrinsically sacred. However, during what one monk called “charged moments” the sacredness of God was seen as manifesting through the land. Thus, while there is no consensus among monks as to the sacredness of land, there is a deep reverence for place and landscape at the heart of monastic spirituality. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; monasticism; sacred places; landscape; religion and ecology religion; monasticism; sacred places; landscape; religion and ecology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Brown, J.M. Charged Moments: Landscape and the Experience of the Sacred among Catholic Monks in North America. Religions 2019, 10, 86.

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