Chapter

<i>Telos</i>: Practicing Paradise

Douglas E. Christie

in The Blue Sapphire of the Mind

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199812325
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812325.003.0009
Telos: Practicing Paradise

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For those of us living at this particular moment of history, the loss of paradise is increasingly experienced through the loss of biological diversity, the extinction of species, and the erosion of the very structure of the ecological web through which life is maintained. This chapter considers how the contemplative practice of paradise might help us address the growing fragmentation and degradation of the living world. It reflects on the Christian contemplative idea of paradise, locating it among the growing chorus of contemporary voices who are calling for an utterly fundamental rethinking of our relationship with the natural world in terms of a recovery of paradise. One of the common features of this wider, shared discourse, and something that marks it as distinctively contemplative, is the growing sense that the transformation we need must go beyond a merely instrumental approach to dealing with environmental concerns and touch on the very depths of what the world is and who we are in the world.

Keywords: paradise; contemplation; living world; contemplative practice; natural world; Christainity

Chapter.  19818 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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