cover image The Galápagos Islands: A Spiritual Journey

The Galápagos Islands: A Spiritual Journey

Brian D. McLaren. Fortress, $16.99 trade paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-5064-4825-1

In this enjoyable first entry in a new series that brings together travel, spirituality, and ethical reflections based on a single locale, former pastor McLaren (A New Kind of Christian) explores how he found a personal “wild theology” while visiting the Galápagos Islands. The first half of the book narrates his trip to “one of the most unique, beautiful, and important ecological situations in the world,” lacing together rich entries plucked from his travel journal (“Below the surface, our familiar reef fish defend their little sacred home territories. King angelfish truly are regal”) with regional history and mundane specifics of his tour group’s itinerary. The second half of the book, with its defense of Darwin and evolution, dives into a soulful examination of McLaren’s personal theology as he reckons with the relationship between science and spirituality, but also with the destructive human impulses that have wreaked havoc on the environment. Confessing, “My inherited religion does not seem well adapted to its deteriorating environment. And... seems to be accelerating the deterioration,” McLaren observes that “the ability to see, to notice, to love—surely that is our most God-like quality.” This wonderfully candid travelogue will appeal to spiritual readers interested in environmental concerns. [em](Oct.) [/em]