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Spiritual Field Guide, A: Meditations for the Outdoors [Kindle Edition]

Bernard Brady , Mark Neuzil
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At last, an inspiring and entirely fresh devotional reader designed expressly for people who love the outdoors. In A Spiritual Field Guide, Bernard Brady and Mark Neuzil offer up biblical reflections on the natural world, humanity's place in nature, and the role and tradition of "wilderness" in seeking and communicating with God. Each chapter includes a series of prayers, meditations, and quotes drawn from Scripture and history's most observant and devout nature lovers, from St. Augustine to Annie Dillard. Whether you are setting out on a long trek, a short vacation, or a day-long trip-or simply sitting in a garden-this book will be an eye-opening and inspiring companion on the way.

A Spiritual Field Guide is for anyone wishing to draw near to God through contemplating the wonders of creation.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"A simple walk in the woods is not simply a walk in the woods." This is the fervent hope of Brady and Neuzil, who have compiled a solid and fulfilling collection of writings about nature with a spiritual bent. Most have a Christian context, if not outright expression, but the Christianity here is broad and inviting. It rests comfortably, and with some frequency, alongside secular authors and other sacred traditions. Organized into five chapters, each theme is introduced by an essay that provides the anthologists' philosophy for inclusion, often by way of contributors' biographies. This approach enlivens the material. "Reading Plans" offer thrice-daily options for backyard breaks, daytrips, weekends and weeklong getaways. For example, one day features Wendell Berry, Genesis 1:1-25 and Augustine of Hippo. The variety of voices here is a plus, and any reader who wants a comforting outside companion will find one. Kudos, too, for the charming cover design that recalls a tattered, well-loved field manual. The authors make a compelling final point: "Jesus often went to the sea, up the mountain, or into the desert. Nature was a way through which he entered into prayer and sensed the divine on earth. Each of us would do well to do the same." (May)

About the Author

Bernard Brady is professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is author of The Moral Bond of Community and Christian Love. Mark Neuzil is associate professor and chair of the department of journalism and mass communication at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of Views on the Mississippi and coauthor of Mass Media and Environmental Conflict. Neuzil has worked in journalism for more than twenty-five years. He resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (June 1, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HO5DF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book to Bring with You March 12, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like the authors write, when Jesus needed to think, meditate or relax, he headed into the wilderness. It's time Christians did the same. We all need to step back and relax and find ways to cut the clutter from our lives. Too busy? Head into the woods, turn your phone and computer off. Read this book. Make a list of things and activities in your life you can do without. Everyone should take a few days (or more) every year and head into the woods, go hiking or camping, sit by a lake somewhere and take a real break, not a busybody vacation. Everyone needs it. This book shows how many people over the ages found how important the outdoors are to their well-being. Don't be blind, get out of the city.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars anthology on creation January 17, 2007
Format:Paperback
I don't think they use the word, but what Brady and Neuzil offer in their little book is an anthology of readings about creation and nature. Perhaps they use the word "meditation" instead because all the readings are short, almost never longer than one page and sometimes much less. In the introduction, then, they suggest that one read these many short texts in a deliberate, reflective fashion, rather than plow straight through them from beginning to end. In the introduction they offer seven different reading plans for week-long, weekend, or single-day trips.

Many of the readings come directly from Scripture, many others from a broad array of Christian writers as diverse as Wendell Berry and Annie Dillard to Martin Luther and Mother Teresa, while still others include non-Christian traditions like Thoreau, John Muir, Chief Black Elk, and Chuang Tzu. They organize the readings into five thematic chapters--on creation and the creator, the human place in creation, the notion of a "special spot" ("thin" places or times when God speaks to us in special ways), journey in the wilderness, and the broad purview of all God's creatures. The authors give little to no attention to the problem(s) of evil in creation (natural evil, which in some ways is more troublesome than moral evil that one can attribute to human free will), what Tennyson described as "nature red in tooth and claw," or to the bleaker implications of a materialist view of nature found in a Dawkins or a Dennett. But perhaps that is the way it should be for believers who confess that "God created the heavens and the earth" and then seven times declared His creation good. The readings direct us to important themes of human dependence, interdependence, gratitude, responsibility, hope, and purpose, all appropriate to those who confess with Paul that God is "clearly seen" in His creation when viewed through the eyes of faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ah Nature! Ah God! March 8, 2006
Format:Paperback
As the authors rightfully say, there are many ways to seek God. Many people have an "aha" moment, or, in my case, a slow realization that God was behind me all along through my difficult life's journey. This jewel of a book offers differing perspectives of God ranging from Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) - Therese of Lisieux - Pope John Paul II - Annie Dillard of Tinker's Creek - to the Holy Bible. Each page is worth pondering and reflection, something we need to do more of in today's hurry-up world. Take this book outdoors, as the authors suggest, or read it, as I did, on my front porch with the sun streaming down and the first crocus of spring popping up from the womb of the earth, which is really the womb of God. Who but the Lord could mastermind a universe of total order? Indeed, God is the greatest lover of all, constantly expanding this vast universe: One in which all things, both great and terrible, are allowed to happen, through his mysterious, imponderable vision.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Environmentalist Field Guide February 21, 2010
By MtnMan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was hoping for a more thorough study of the Bible and how creation celebrates God. This was more of an Environmentalists Talking Points using philosophy to validate it's agenda. I'm glad I didn't pay the 12.99 MSRP. With God on the Hiking Trail by Nathan Chapman is more inline with what I was looking for.
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