Wilderness as Axis Mundi: Spiritual Journeys on the Appalachian Trail

  • Kip Redick

The author provides discussion of religious and historical literature concerning the relation of wilderness experience and its symbolism to religious experience and its symbolism. But this literature concerns fact reportage or the transmission of religious truths, losing the experiential genesis. Such knowledge disconnected from experience suggests a cognitive source for symbolization. But important to our thesis is that the author explores his own experience and the contemporary experiences of others showing the genesis of symbolism and spirituality through the body schema in the spatial enactment of meaning along the Appalachian Trail. The author is sensitive to the co-constitutive role of the EarthBody, and this sensitivity is motivated due to the disruption of ordinary sociality as new meanings are to be negotiated on the basis of the genius loci of the milieu. The author finds corroborating evidence in the generation of spirituality through embodied experience with what can be cognitively learned in religious and historical literature. This corroboration confirms our notion of resonances between “poetic” language and gesture when indeed we are attuned to the felt significances of the body schema.


Body Schema Symbolic Dimension Hebrew Word Real Landscape Sacred Place 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Christopher Newport UniversityNewport NewsUSA

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