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The Solace of Fierce Landscapes


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About the Author

Belden C. Lane is Professor of Theological Studies and American Studies, St. Louis University and the author of Landscapes of the Sacred: Geography and Narrative in American Spirituality. He lives in St. Louis.


"Lane, a Presbyterian minister teaching theology at a Catholic University, makes some of the rich tradition of the Christian people available to us in a uniquely powerful way because he has allowed it to live in his own life and has an artist's ability to make that experience present to us. This is theology at its most fruitful best and an exquisitely beautiful read."--M. Basil Pennignton "This is a beautifully written book in which the author describes and unfolds the mutually illuminating interaction in himself between his profound sensitivity to place, especially the hard places of this earth, and his experience of one of the hardest of life's losses. Lane uses his wide and deep knowledge of the mystical tradition to interpret this experience in such a way that the reader is enlightened and encouraged. Reading this book is an experience of the human engagement with the Mystery of God as lived by the author."--Sandra M. Schneiders. Professor of New Testament and Christian Spirituality, The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley "Belden Lane is a storyteller. Here he tells the story of the relationships between inner and outer wilderness. The landscape is an integrant of selfhood. To be 'in the desert' is to want something--water, promise of exodus. But there is no replenishment of these desires. The imagination and the 'self' are transfigured--given illumination--when the desert has its way. In the emptiness, the Voice says, 'stay with me; talk with me, not about me or you. This is my body, along with the echoes from yonder mountain.' This is what Belden Lane teaches us."--Richard E. Wentz, Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University, author of John Williamson Nevin, American Theologian (OUP). "Pushed by God, deserts, and death to the limits of human life, the spiritual seeker is relieved of worry over her own anxious ego--'the things that ignore us save us'--and the reader, in turn, comes away soothed by a fine illustration of the intimate connection there can be between abstract ideas and the daunting realities of life. In the vast desert of pop spirituality, Lane's book is an oasis."--Kirkus Reviews

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