Grounded; Finding God in the World
Diana Butler Bass (Harper One, 2015)
Reviewed by Rob Roi
In one sense this is a book of theology, one that explores the question of who God is and where God might be encountered.
It is a theological vision that is formed by a perspective called panentheism.
Panentheism assumes that while God and the world are not one and the same, God is to be found in the world and not outside the world.
Diana tells us how people are finding new spiritual ground through a God that resides in the world with us – in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighbourhoods and in the global community. “God is not above or beyond, but integral to the whole of creation, entwined with the sacred ecology of the universe.”
She goes on to say, “and this revolution rests upon the simple insight: God is in the ground, the grounding, that which grounds us. We experience this when we understand that soil is holy, water gives life and the sky opens the imagination.
The author devotes chapters to soil, water and sky, examining how the various religions have connected God to these elements.
She claims people still believe, but they believe differently than they once did, and there is a widening gap between that revolution and the institutions of religious faith.
The Reverend Rob Roi is a parish deacon at St. James’ Dundas.