Summary of chapter 2: Creation’s glory and sacredness

We begin with Chesterton’s sheer amazement that anything at all existed—his creation spirituality. From there we go to Lewis’s passion for the everyday-ness of mundane things (reflected in his fondness for cross-country walking tours) and his imaginative rendering of the Christian story of Creation in books such as Perelandra and the Chronicles of Narnia. Then we move to Tolkien’s reworking of medieval world-sacramentalism into an artistic critique of the modern industrial complex’s wanton destruction of the environment (framed by the creation narrative he presents in the Silmarillion).

This moves us to the ecological abuses of modern America, and the relationship between those abuses and a super-spiritualized Protestant faith that has notoriously not placed enough emphasis on the goodness of creation and our divine mandate of stewardship (creation care).

Returning briefly to Lewis’s Discarded Image, and his space trilogy, we get a boost into the vivid pre-scientific understanding of all of Creation as pulsing with spiritual life. We then look at Gregory the Great and Francis of Assisi on creation. These will help us see that the medieval reverence for creation was more than just a pre-scientific superstition or a devotional cliché.

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