Once upon a time, humans lived in intimate relationship with nature.
With an ecospiritual lens on biblical narratives and a fresh look at a community larger than our own species, Church of the Wild uncovers the wild roots of faith and helps us deepen our commitment to a suffering earth by falling in love with it--and calling it church.
Through mystical encounters with wild deer, whispers from a scrubby oak tree, wordless conversation with a cougar, and more, Victoria Loorz helps us connect to a love that literally holds the world together--a love that calls us into communion with all creatures.
Published by Broadleaf Press.
Release date: October 5, 2021.
From the Prologue:
"This is a story about a land where the trees talk and the waters croon and the people fall in love with birds, who love them back. This is a story about an enchanted forest hiding in plain sight, invisible until, somehow, the veil drops—and what was unseen can suddenly be seen. You may catch a glimpse when you cross the threshold on the far edge of the abandoned field, or when, just for a blinking instant, you notice how the brambles of the blackberry bush connect you to everything..."
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Biologist & Author, "Matter & Desire: An Erotic Ecology"
“Victoria Loorz has written a breathtaking book, both bold and intimate, both erudite and immensely loving. She does for Christian belief what Robin Wall Kimmerer did for scientific Botany: invite it back into the ecstasy of a life lived together with all beings, into the poetry of sharing breath. Loorz has the gift of conveying profound messages in a light-hearted and light-footed – and outright beautiful – way, that makes it literally impossible to put down the book. “Church of the Wild” is a groundbreaking account of postdualistic religious experience, and an intoxicating temptation to allow yourself to love.”
Author, "God of Love" and "Wild Mercy"
“This book is a luminous love song to the Body of the Earth, a sober celebration of interconnection, an elegant entreaty and a bold proposal for a new way, the renewal of the ancient way, a way of healing and holiness and prophetic enkindling. This book is a prayer. Intelligently shaped and beautifully written. Highly recommended.”
Theologian, liturgist, artist. Author of Liturgies from Below
“Church of the Wild is about a very different church. It is an ekklesia/assembly of friends we don’t quite pay attention or listen to: birds, trees, flowers, air, waters, rocks, raccoons frogs, and so many other living beings. It is not a church in the wild, but an assembly of the wild. There we learn something about botanic sacramental relations, animal hymnodies, earth spiritualities, and through these learnings, encounter a wilderness that might be closer to us than our church buildings. Victoria Loorz’s story-telling of the wilderness offers a Christ-tradition language much needed for new dialogues, a path back to the parts of the Christian faith we have forgotten for centuries. Take and read, and let your body be-wild-ered! “
Co-founder, Eco-Womanist Institute
“Victoria Loorz has brought us her truth-telling real "Kitchen Table" talk in this book. It is both deeply personal, inspirational and spiritually nourishing. As you turn each page you can feel yourself being called to get outside and connect with creation. Our natural altars—the trees, waters, the sun and the moon—are waiting to heal us! My ancestors, who were forced in captivity, would "steal away" in the woods to spend time praying, singing and dancing in order to withstand the brutality of the systemic racist caste system. Reading this book makes you question how did we end up boxing in our spiritual practice between the confines of four walls?”
Dr. Larry Rasmussen
Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
“A cascade of stories beautifully written, deeply personal and refreshingly human. They invite us to create a narrative together for a transformed people fitted to a changed Earth. Many of us have been waiting for this book. While it crisscrosses most everything, it’s concretely about transformed churches, seminaries and interfaith communities gathering to practice the future. Pass it on!”
Mary Reynolds Thompson
Founder, Live Your Wild Soul Story and author of "Reclaiming the Wild Soul"
“Church of the Wild is miraculous in its depth and beauty. Weaving rich storytelling with fascinating historical and theological insights, the author lays out a spiritual pathway rooted in communion with nature. Though Loorz is part of the Christ tradition, she speaks to all of us longing for an Earth-based spirituality. This is a sacred text for our troubled times.”
Climate Activist & Author, End of Nature
“This book will be of great use to all who feel a little broken by the world right now--those of a Christian heritage especially, but really everyone yearning to reconnect with something larger. I think the wisest course of action would be to slip it into a knapsack and remove yourself outdoors to read it.”
Geneen Marie Haugen
Writer and wilderness soul guide at Animas Valley Institute
“Victoria's book is a guiding story for others who are longing to bridge the distance between the teachings of religion and the embodied wisdom of the old wild one who still lives in each of us. ”