Retrieving an Earth voice: Ecological hermeneutics, the matter of the text and reading "as if it's holy" (Jennifer Harrison, "Book Sculptor")

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Norman Habel and his colleagues include in their ecological hermeneutics, a hermeneutic of retrieval of an Earth voice (in biblical texts). This hermeneutic relies on a practice of creative imagination to "retrieve" and "perform" an Earth voice (or multiple more-than-human voices) in human language. The practice of retrieval requires an attentiveness not only to the "cry" of Earth but also to the materiality of things (including the text itself as a material thing). With reference to four poems - "Parchment" by Michelle Boisseau, "O Taste and See" by Denise Levertov, "Book Sculptor" by Jennifer Harrison, and "A Sort of a Song" by William Carlos Williams - this article critically considers ways in which a relationship between the matter of a text and an Earth voice might touch on the sacred through reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81 - 94
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Ejournal of Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • ecological hermeneutics
  • ecocriticism
  • poetry
  • the sacred
  • Earth Bible
  • voice

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