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When God Was a BirdChristianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World$
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Mark I. Wallace

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823281329

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823281329.001.0001

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On the Wings of a Dove

On the Wings of a Dove

(p.141) Chapter 5 On the Wings of a Dove
When God Was a Bird

Mark I. Wallace

Fordham University Press

Using James Lovelock’s Gaia theory and biblical exegesis, chapter 5 maintains that Earth is a sentient organism with its own moods, relational capacities, and vulnerability to suffering. This “living Earth” theme is further explored in case studies of two sacred land-sites in Northern Spain visited by the author: The Cape of the Crosses natural park, and the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Both sites are heralded as “thin places”—landscapes where divinity and materiality comfortably intersect—in which errant wandering and purposeful travel are valued equally. Currently, such sites are cruciform: as Jesus was sacrificed at Calvary, so today we crucify afresh God’s winged Spirit in nature through toxic impacts against plants, animals, and human beings. The scars of Golgotha mark the whole Earth. The chapter concludes with hope symbolized by the feral pigeon—the dovey cousin of Jesus’ baptismal bird—amidst the contemporary loss of embodied deity through ecocidal, even deicidal, practices.

Keywords:   Calvary, Cape of the Crosses, cruciform, deicidal, ecocidal, El Camino de Santiago, Gaia, Golgotha, James Lovelock, sentient organism, thin places

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