"With compassion and love—emee'ih eh ah'moo'oh nhiyah in the Acoma Pueblo language—we are within sacred reason when we sincerely and fully participate in the ecology of life, that is, the organic forces of nature, Jim Wohlpart observes in Walking in the Land of Many Gods. And he confirms and affirms this teaching by the questioning yet insightful articulation offered by Linda Hogan, Terry Tempest Williams, and Janisse Ray to help us realize it is possible to attain beneficial communion with sacred Mother Earth. And with some help from Martin Heidegger also. Thank you—Dawaa-eh—for the knowledge!"
—Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo author of Woven Stone, Out There Somewhere, and From Sand Creek
“An innovative ecocritical study, Walking in the Land of Many Gods makes a real contribution to our understanding of contemporary environmental literature and of our current environmental situation. Wohlpart articulates an alternative view of the human place in the world, suggesting ways we can live richer and more ecologically sustainable lives.”
"[Walking in the Land of Many Gods] suggests the possibility for an alternative way of thinking and acting in the world, thus broadening the notion of dwelling. . . . The book is interesting because it offers insight into contemporary environmental writers . . . Summing up: Recommended."
"'How are we placed on Earth,' and 'how might we re/place ourselves on Earth in more meaningful ways'? A. James Wohlpart's ambitious and delightful book answers these questions by invoking and productively complicating the later philosophy of Martin Heidegger and by analyzing three well-known ecological texts."
—Jennifer Ladino, ISLE
“Wohlpart’s new book doesn’t hide the dean of Undergraduate Studies and English professor’s passion for roaming landscape and pondering nature. Walking in the Land of Many Gods examines how we are placed on Earth and what our relationship is to the world around us. It delves into how our thinking affects the way we relate to the world.”
—Betsy Clayton, Pinnacle
“Walking in the Land of Many Gods explore[s] how ancient ideas about place and relations lead to theories of energy, exchange, and sustainable wellness. . . . [The book] move[s] the study of American Indian literary theory and philosophy in a new direction.”
—Margaret Noodin, Studies in American Indian Literatures
How are we placed on Earth? What is our relationship to the world around us, and how does our thinking affect the way we relate to the world? We are entrapped, says A. James Wohlpart, by what Martin Heidegger calls "enframing," a worldview that considers all objects as mere resources for our use. Walking in the Land of Many Gods envisions a new way of thinking about the world, one grounded in a moral imagination reconnected to Earth.
Insightful readings of three contemporary classics of nature writing—Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Terry Tempest Williams's Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and Linda Hogan's Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World—are at the heart of Wohlpart's endeavor. Powerful and affecting works like these reveal a pathway to a deeper remembering, one that reconnects us with the primal forces of creation and acknowledges the sacredness of the world.
We have forgotten that the world around us is rich and fertile and generative, says Wohlpart. His exploration of these literary works, based on deep anthropology and Native American philosophy, opens a pathway into a new way of thinking called sacred reason. Founded on interdependence and interrelationship, and on care and compassion, sacred reason reminds us that divinity exists around us at all times. We are invited to walk, once again, in a land filled with many gods.
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