|About the Book|
In Spirit Unleashed, Anne Benvenuti uses analysis of real encounters with wild animals to take us on an intellectual tour of our thinking about animals by way of biological sciences, scienti c psychology, philosophy, and theology to show that we haveMoreIn Spirit Unleashed, Anne Benvenuti uses analysis of real encounters with wild animals to take us on an intellectual tour of our thinking about animals by way of biological sciences, scienti c psychology, philosophy, and theology to show that we have been wrong in our understanding of ourselves amongst other animals. The good news is that we can correct our course and make ourselves happier in the process. Drawing us into encounters with a desert rattlesnake, an offended bonobo, an injured fawn, a curious whale, a determined woodpecker, and others, she gives us a glimpse of their souls. Benvenuti strongly makes the case that to change the way we think about animals--and our way of relating to them--holds the possibility of changing all life on Earth for the better. We Franciscans always believed that nature was Gods first revelation, and if we did not read and respect creation, elements, and animals, we would probably not know how to read the written Bible either. . . . In this beautiful book, you now have a way through--and beyond--that will satisfy your searching intelligence and your seeking heart at the same time. --Richard Rohr, author of Everything Belongs Benvenuti places her experiences in the grand sweep of the western intellectual traditions that have marginalized the other animals in thought, emotion, and deed. This book blends humanistic and scientific perspectives in ways that can help heal this troubled world of ours. --Jaak Panksepp, author of Affective Neuroscience Spirit Unleashed is a most important book for showing how misleading it is to believe and to live as if there is a great divide between us and other beings. When we pay close attention to what we know about the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of other animals and when we listen to what they want and need from us . . . it is easy to choose to live in close, respectful, and peaceful coexistence with them. Rewilding our hearts is a natural path for achieving a broad natural spirituality in which all beings will benefit from sharing our magnificent planet. Anne Benvenuti poignantly shows how true this is. --Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts Anne Benvenuti is a professor of psychology and philosophy, a licensed psychologist, an interdisciplinary scholar, and a priest of the Episcopal Church. Her scholarly work focuses on models of natural spirituality that are both scienti cally grounded and accessible from religious perspectives. She is engaged in social policy work as a member of the UN NGO Committee for Mental Health and is a Trustee and UN Representative for the Parliament of the Worlds Religions. She is also a published poet and naturalist.