What if Eden were not lost, but instead we simply have walked away from it? In that first perfect garden, God imbued nature with qualities that enlarge our capacity to sense God’s presence: silence, stillness, and solitude—attributes nature still embodies today. Drawing on research that shows the benefits of exposure to nature and the effectiveness of meditative practices, Reentering Eden argues that combining the two re-creates the environment of Eden, a space where walking with God is still possible. Grounded in the biblical celebration of meditation and entrenched in a distinctly Christian vision of nature, Reentering Eden clears a path through natural landscapes that leads to spiritual renewal, peace, and a deeper relationship with God.
Founded on Scripture and flanked by well-chosen passages from Henry David Thoreau and Annie Dillard, this meditation on meditation blends a deft quality of observation and a scholar’s grasp of source materials. Warren creates a potent nonfiction that invites, compels, and challenges us with a central paradox we each must confront: she writes, “The touch of our hands more often destroys than preserves even that which we admire. Yet our human strivings can also sometimes be holy acts, our fumbling way to grasp for God, and this effort has value….”
—Dan Bowman Jr.
Department of English, Taylor University
Editor-in-Chief, Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith
Reentering Eden provides a much-needed spiritual tonic for our century. When have Americans needed to be reminded more that it is in green pastures and beside still waters that God restores our souls? By giving a strong call for us to return to silent contemplation of, and immersion in, the natural world wherever we can find it, Warren continues the essential poetic work of Henry David Thoreau and Annie Dillard before her. This book should be first savored in a hammock, and then lent to as many bedraggled friends who do not yet know that they need it.
—Christina Bieber Lake
Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English
Colleen Warren understands nature and grace cannot be separated. Humanity is in nature, and it is in nature, the first book of revelation, that grace, God’s continuing creativity announces itself. The meditations in Reentering Eden call us to attention and challenge us to live our lives awake to the presence of God with us.
Emeritus Professor of English, Houghton College
Author of Grace Is Where I Live and Recluse Freedom
This beautifully ruminative book seeks to reclaim God’s inherent primacy regarding the meditation in and on nature. Colleen Warren writes gracefully of the need for quiet wonder at creation, and why the deepest peace we can find when considering the natural world is to do so through the lens of the Creator of it all.
Department of English, The College of Charleston
Author of Ancient Highway and Jewel
In this refreshing meditation on meditation Warren explores the ways that deliberate immersion in nature deepens our awareness of and engagement with God. With Thoreau and Dillard as traveling partners on this reflective journey, Warren shows us the multidimensional benefits of regular meditation in natural contexts. Readers will come away inspired to more mindfully experience the ways that God speaks to us in nature—a much needed antidote to our technologically toxic culture.
—James S. Spiegel, PhD
Head of School
Lighthouse Christian Academy