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Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine-No-139 [ June 2017 ]

Be prepared for an ‘edgy’ start. The first few articles invite us to consider the shift in consciousness needed to address the current ecological crisis.

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Inside this issue

ON THE EDGE: A STANDING PILGRIMAGE AT TATHRA BEACH, PART TW0 by Jan Morgan and Graeme Garrett
THE WORLD IS MY BODY: THE THEOLOGY OF SALLIE MCFAGUE by Patricia Gemmell
A JOURNEY INTO THE RED HEART OF AUSTRALIA by Chris Dalton
'FROM TERRA NULLIUS TO BELOVED COMPANION: REIMAGINING LAND IN AUSTRALIA' reviewed by Frances McKay
MINDFULNESS by Nicholas Rundle
MY JOURNEY WITH LECTIO DIVINA by Cathy Holling
MY JOURNEY WITH POETRY by Michael Payze
CROSSING BORDERS by Mary Lynn Mather

Editorial

Welcome to our winter issue.

Be prepared for an ‘edgy’ start. The first few articles invite us to consider the shift in consciousness needed to address the current ecological crisis. By sharing their own journeys, the writers encourage us to engage more intentionally – and for many this means in radically new ways – with the natural world. Despite their differences, these writers share an important assumption – that we need to move from an ‘I-It’ to an ‘I-Thou’ (to borrow Buber’s terminology) relationship with creation.

Instead of seeing the world as an object to observe, control, subdue and plunder, they suggest that we need to see her as an other that has both voice and rights. In allowing creation to address them, these writers tell us that sometimes they got more than they bargained for. For example, in one of
their journal entries Morgan and Garrett describe finding themselves called to account for a long list of crimes committed by humanity against the ocean!

Chris Dalton certainly got more than he bargained for when he enrolled in doctoral research to develop public theology in the area of policy development on environmental issues. This took him out of his comfort zone into a pioneering journey of personal transformation for which his
previous scientific training and extensive experience in public policy had not prepared him. His account of that journey, ‘A Journey into the Red Heart of Australia’, and my review of his book From Terra Nullius to Beloved Companion, based on that research journey are probably best read in tandem. What is your responseto the cover image on this issue? (It is the same one used on his book.)

Patricia Gemmell reminds us that Sallie McFague’s metaphor of the world as God’s body has its root in the Christian tradition, especially in the writings of poets and mystics like Gerard Manley Hopkins. McFague’s suggestions for action are particularly challenging.

This issue also includes several articles on spiritual practices. Nicholas Rundle’s article on mindfulness and Cathy Holling’s on Lectio Divina are engagingly written and personally reflective. Throughout the issue several contributors have also referred to writing as a spiritual practice. Jan Morgan
and Graeme Garrett recommend journal writing to enhance the practice of standing meditation. Michael Payze speaks of poetry writing as a way of praying and reflecting, and Chris Dalton has been surprised to find himself writing poetry as part of his research journey.

Finally, Mary Lynn Mather speaks of ‘the parallels’ between her creative (as a writer) and spiritual journeys, as well as the ways social and political contexts and landscapes shape us. Her experience of border crossings also reminds us of that other issue of our times – asylum seekers and the challenges they face.

Have you noticed the spatial metaphors in the titles of these articles: journey to the heart, standing on the edge; border crossings? Where do you find yourself right now?

Until next time travel well.

- Frances MacKay

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