Westminster Professor Publishes Environmental and Spiritual Book

Westminster College is pleased to announce that Dr. Cliff Cain, the Harrod-C.S. Lewis Professor of Religious Studies, is the author of his 10th book, Attunement: Living in Harmony with Nature. Cain will conduct a reading and book-signing event at noon on Feb. 26 in the Westminster College Book Store.

Attunement, published by Cascade Books in December, examines four spiritual figures throughout history who were dedicated in their own way to living in a healthier relationship with nature and to modeling that attitude and behavior for others. The book features 12th-century nun St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis and 19th-century Japanese Buddhist monk Taigu Ryokan.

The writings of each individual emphasize that how we envision nature influences or determines how we interact with the natural world. “In order for life on earth to survive, we must alter dramatically the way we see our relationship with nature,” Cain says.

The book, which Cain researched and wrote over a period of three years, is written more for a general audience than for academics. The person on the street and the religious person in the pew should be able to access and appreciate what he is attempting to convey.

“I am hoping the book will be helpful to persons of faith who believe, or could come to acknowledge, that the environment is a religious issue which the Church and public discourse must examine and embrace,” Cain explains. “Indeed, in my opinion, a ‘non-Green Christian’ is a contradiction in terms. The Bible is replete with admonitions to care responsibly for the earth which God has created and placed in our hands.”

Cain emphasizes that Attunement features a cover photo, “Mammoth Beauty,” by alumna Laura Wiltshire, ’16. “My students’ involvement in, and organic connection to, my work has been immensely satisfying to me,” Cain says, adding that the book is dedicated to all of the students he has taught and also honors his relationships with faculty colleagues at Westminster.

Attunement will soon be available for purchase on Amazon.com, at the Westminster College Book Store and in other book stores.

Cain teaches courses at Westminster in world religions, religion and ecology, contemporary religious thought, religion and science, death and dying, the meaning of life and Holocaust studies. Missouri Governor Mike Parson appointed him to the state-wide Holocaust Education Awareness Commission in the fall of 2019. Read more about Cain here.



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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.