Katharine Preston challenges us to think more deeply about the human condition and our choices in this time of ever-increasing climate disturbance.
Moved by the landscapes surrounding her home, Wild Orchard Farm, and drawing on both her ecological and theological training, she writes for scientists leery of faith, people of faith who know and love the miracles of science, and anybody who shares the vision of the planet as a sacred community.
Katharine studied anthropology as an undergraduate at Brandeis University, learning from indigenous American cultures about the place of humans in the natural world. She went on to gain a Master’s in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Master’s of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School.
She and her husband, John Bingham, live in Essex, New York and are active associates of the Iona Community.
Fascinating theological reflection – grounded in the real world, and in the greatest crisis of our time on earth. I’m so glad someone is asking these questions.
Author Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
There will be more books like this. There have to be. But read this one now, and be uplifted by Katharine’s sense of wonder, fed by her scientific and theological literacy, her experiential reasoning, and her realistic and timely passion for the Earth and all its creatures in this, our age of accelerating climate crisis.
Environmental Chaplain with Eco-Congregation Scotland
Field with a View portrays the challenges of responding to the crisis of climate change through story, autobiography, theology, and science. Emily Dickinson once counseled tell the truth and tell it slant, that is, with passion and indirection, to bring the reader or listener into the story without defensiveness or diatribe. Katharine Preston tells it slant, but the slant way, like the dynamic seascapes and landscapes of our planet, inspires us to change our visions, practices, and priorities. Field with a View is a beautiful book, grounded in Preston’s vision of beauty as central to our understanding of the universe. God’s aim in the creative process is toward the production of beauty and Preston achieves this in the pages of Field with a View. In a time of despair, perhaps beauty – and beauty alone – will inspire us to move forward in partnership with God to heal the Earth and its peoples.
Pastor, theology professor, and author of Become Fire: Guideposts for Interspiritual Pilgrims and The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-filled World
Reading Field with a View is like having a conversation with Katharine over a cup of coffee at church fellowship. It is a heartfelt, thoughtful, and well-informed synthesis of faith and science, rooted in her strong connections with nature. It is a compelling call to mitigate our human behaviors that contribute to the very real and present, existential problem of climate change. I hope we all find positive ways to respond.
Ronald W. Bussian
BS, Chemistry (1970, University of Delaware, Newark, DE); Ph.D., Biochemistry (1978, University of Delaware, Newark, DE)
In Field with A View, Katharine Preston writes with the sharp eye of an ecologist, the vibrant heart of a mystic, and the lyrical voice of a poet. Drawing upon deeply personal experiences among the wild woods and waters of the North Country, she leads us on a richly nuanced exploration of our place in the world at the dawn of this new Anthropocene epoch. In the process, she helps us to blend science, spirituality, and morality in our own lives, both as complex individuals and as integral members of Creation itself.
Paul Smith’s College, NY. Author of Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes
Field with A View spoke to both the scientist and the spirit in me, helping my frequent struggle with the personal dilemma of reconciling the ‘fact’ of medical tragedies with the ‘theory’ of a benevolent and/or omnipotent god. The presentation of the “process theory” was an eye-opener. It put me back on a pathway to believing. I will see if I can find “plausible explanations for how and why things are the way they are that are consistent with both scientific observations of the world and the human experience of the divine.” Now, I realize my ‘mistake’ has been regarding those two as mutually exclusive opposites. Thus, in simple terms, there might be a means for the scientist in me to believe in God. Science and religion can coexist!
The writing flows well and is very clear. The content is rational and poetic. The book is loaded with great metaphors, apt chapter epigraphs, and terrific descriptions of nature. Katharine observes, questions, and provokes, but does not insist, threaten, or pontificate.
David P. Simmons, M.D., author