Programs & Retreats

Event Details

POSTPONED Cultivating a Sense of Place: Contemplative Ecology in a Time of Loss
Location: Conference Center
Category: Conference Retreats
Date: Thursday June 23, 2022 through Sunday June 26, 2022
Cost: $375.00
Minimum Deposit: $100.00


7:00 pm June 23, 2022 to
12:00 pm June 26, 2022

Date to be announced.

Cultivating a Sense of Place: Contemplative Ecology in a Time of Loss
Douglas Christie, Ph.D.

The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset once said: “Tell me the landscape in which you live, and I will tell you who you are.” Here we find a beautiful expression of the deep and fundamental connection that exists between place and human identity. But how in fact does place shape identity? How is it that our deepest emotions and values, including those that we consider to be part of our spiritual life, come to be so closely tied to the places we inhabit? What do we lose—in relation to our identity, our sense of meaning, even our sense of God—when these places are lost or degraded? Is it still possible to cultivate a sense of wholeness and integrity in relation to the places we inhabit? If so, what sensibilities and practices (especially contemplative practices) are most critical for helping us to realize it? This workshop will focus on these and other related questions—to help participants consider what it means to cultivate a deeper sense of place and a stronger ethical commitment to caring for the places we love. 

Douglas E. Christie, Ph.D. received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his M.A. from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He has been awarded fellowships from the Luce Foundation, the Lilly Foundation and the NEH. From 2013-2015 he served as Co-director of the Casa de la Mateada study abroad program in Córdoba, Argentina. His primary research interests focus on contemplative thought and practice in ancient and medieval Christianity and on spirituality and ecology. He is the author of The Word in The Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (Oxford), The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Note for a Contemplative Ecology (Oxford) and is the founding editor of Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality (Johns Hopkins). His current work is focused on the idea of mystical darkness and the contemporary sense of exile, loss and emptiness.


If you would like to register for this or any of our programs, there are several easy ways to do so. 
You may:
• click the "Register" link located at the bottom of this page
• call 724-964-8886 to speak with a member of our friendly staff
• complete and mail a printable registration form along with your payment to:

     Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center
     2067 Evergreen Road
     P.O. Box 424
     Villa Maria, PA 16155 

Refund Policy  

Includes: Retreat, Lodging, and Meals from Light Supper (at 5:15 pm) on Thursday to Lunch on Sunday
For more information
Phone: 724-964-8886
January 2023
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