Fortress Press

Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature

Super, Natural Christians

How We Should Love Nature

Sallie McFague (Author)


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In a readable and concrete style, Sallie McFague crafts a Christian spirituality centered on nature as the focus of our encounter with the divine. Reorienting our religious life from the "supernatural" to the "super, natural," she suggests, can help us "see these earth others . . . as both subjects in themselves and as intimations of God."

In fascinating discussions of city planning and wilderness, of photography, hiking, gardening, recycling, urban decay, and poverty, but also of incarnation, embodiment, and sacramentality. McFague urges the reader's conversion from "the arrogant eye" to "the loving eye." She suggests many ways people can cultivate encounters with nature and engagement in justice.

McFague's marvelous and moving new book tutors us in wonder, delight, and love.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800630768
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 207
  • Publication Date April 4, 1997


"Super, Natural Christians is super! It is Sallie McFague's greatest book so far: powerfully focused, richly intertextual, lucid yet elegant." — Catherine Keller, Drew University

"Well done! No one else has turned their hand to this topic with such surety, calmness, insight, and an urgency that is utterly convincing. A beautiful book."
— Elizabeth A. Johnson, author of She Who Is

"Sallie McFague is a prominent figure among the growing number of theologians who have been attempting to rethink the Christian understanding of God's and humanity's place in the physical world."
— Chronicle of Higher Education

Table of Contents


  1. Super, Natural Christians
    Supernatural vs. Super, Natural Christians
    Christian Nature Spirituality

  2. Consider the Lilies of the Field: How Should Christians Love Nature?
    Paying Attention
    Two Ways to Seeing the World
    The Arrogant Eye vs. the Loving Eye
    The Subject-Subjects Model
    Care or Rights?
    Map or Hike?

  3. Christians and Nature: Past and Present
    Is Nature like Us?
    Medieval vs. Ecological Relationship
    The Medieval Picture
    The Present: Our Loss of Nature

  4. The Arrogant Eye: Knowing Nature as Object
    Nature: Lanscape or Maze?
    Knowledge: The Eye of the Mind
    Nature: The Mirror of the Mind

  5. The Loving Eye: Knowing Nature as Subject
    In Touch with the Others: A Radical Suggestion
    Being and Knowing the Ecological Model
    The Subject-Subjects Model and Nature
    The Loving Eye

  6. Down to Earth: Close Encounters with the Nature World
    Do Touch: Experience, Place, Wildness
    Nature Writing: Mediating the Second Naiveté
    Geography vs. Autobiography: Three Examples of Nature
    Halting the Extinction of Experience

  7. Caring for the Others
    The Ecological Model and the Community of Care
    The Ecological Model and Christian Spirituality



"Years ago when I first came to British Columbia to hike, I was startled and delighted by the province's tourist advertising slogan. It read: 'Super, Natural British Columbia.' I remember thinking, That is the proper use of the word supernatural." It should always have a comma."