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Cultivating a Sense of Place:
Contemplative Ecology in a Time of Loss
A Zoom Retreat with Douglas Christie

July 23, 2022, 10 am to Noon and 1:30 pm to 3 pm (Pacific Time)

Hosted by The Contemplative Society in association with Earth Literacies and Canadian Memorial United Church.

There is a deep and fundamental connection that exists between place and human identity.

As 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.”

If, in fact, place does shape identity, what happens to our identities—our sense of meaning, our sense of God, our relationship to the world around us—when the places we inhabit are lost or degraded?

How do we cultivate a sense of wholeness and integrity, when the world we inhabit is radically impacted by climate crises?

What do we lose?

How should we respond?

What contemplative practices can help us to reconnect to that wholeness that utterly permeates the fragmentation and loss?

This mini-retreat with Douglas Christie will focus on these and other related questions, teaching contemplative practices grounded in the reality of our own physical settings, deepening our sense of place, and drawing us into stronger ethical commitments to caring for the places we love.
Retreat Leader: Douglas E. Christie received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his M.A. from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He has been awarded fellowships from the Luce Foundation, the Lilly Foundation and the NEH. From 2013-2015 he served as Co-director of the Casa de la Mateada study abroad program in Córdoba, Argentina.

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 (Oxford), The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Note for a Contemplative Ecology (Oxford), and is the founding editor of Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality (Johns Hopkins).

His work has appeared in The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality, The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism, Horizons, Cross Currents, The Anglican Theological Review, Weavings, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Cistercian Studies Quarterly, Studia Patristica, The Best Spiritual Writing, and Orion.

His current work is focused on the idea of mystical darkness and the contemporary sense of exile, loss and emptiness.
 Registration: CAN $40.00
Financial assistance available through the TCS bursary fund by request to admin[at]