Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Making Nature SacredLiterature, Religion, and the Environment in America from the Puritans to the Present$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Gatta

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195165050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195165055.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 August 2019

Imagined Worlds

Imagined Worlds

The Lure of Numinous Exoticism

(p.175) 8 Imagined Worlds
Making Nature Sacred

John Gatta (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Every landscape is exotic, from the standpoint of those who stand apart from it or cannot know it fully, so that encounters with strange or forbidding landscapes may have sacred rather than escapist meaning. The exotic terrain of Southern swamps nurtured a distinctive form of religious life for maroon communities of African Americans, a spiritual legacy recalled in W.E.B. Du Bois’s Quest of the Silver Fleece. In Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez shows how a strange and forbidding place inspires reverence before the sacred mystery of all that the land contains, both visible and invisibly. A comparable reverence toward an elusive, nonhuman, and numinous presence informs the Himalayan quest narrative of Peter Matthiessen in The Snow Leopard. In the Watson trilogy, Matthiessen probes the spiritual ambiguities of American lawlessness and exposes the “desecration of Creation” that human “progress” has brought to Florida’s Everglades.

Keywords:   exotic, W.E.B. Du Bois, Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, numinous, reverence, Florida, African Americans, maroon, Everglades

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .