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humanities?) and purpose (Is it a form of literary analysis, a political call, or religious worldview?) remain. The book is largely content to leave these questions unanswered, inviting scholars across the disciplines to continue to explore the field of material ecocriticism in new and inventive ways. Michelle Reyes Southwestern University Loving God’s Wildness: The Christian Roots of Ecological Ethics in American Literature. By Jeffrey Bilbro. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015. ISBN 978-0-8173-1857-4. Pp. 240. $54.95. Loving God’s Wildness is a welcome addition to a growing body of scholarship that integrates Christian theology into studies of the environment in American literature . Beginning with Puritan theology, Bilbro traces a Christian tradition of respect and care for nature in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Willa Cather, and Wendell Berry. The ambition of this project is its historical scope: from Thoreau and Muir, whose influence is engrained in the fabric of American environmentalism ; to Cather, whose writings represent the transition into the modern era of so-called ‘‘progress’’; to the contemporary writer Wendell Berry, whose work is still receiving accolades from readers faithful to his agrarian mission. What holds this book together is Bilbro’s take on Puritan theology. While the Puritans had a profound respect for the sovereignty of God revealed in creation, they also envisioned the New World as an arena where God would display His favor toward the ‘‘elect’’ by granting them economic prosperity. Bilbro believes that this Puritan dualism leads to what he calls the ‘‘schizophrenia’’ of Americans’ treatment of the natural world: ‘‘we set aside parts of the country as National Parks and wilderness areas, and we allow individuals to destroy other parts by mountaintop removal coal mining’’ (9). Yet Bilbro insists that Christianity itself can correct the problems its history in America may have spawned, for in the very Puritans who created this ‘‘schizophrenia’’ there exists theology that points to the right response of reverence and humility, embodied in good work, toward God’s wild creation. Refreshingly lucid and widely learned, Bilbro’s monograph convincingly re-establishes the Christian roots of ecological ethics in American literature. In the opening chapter Bilbro makes a critical distinction between Thoreau and Muir, whom he considers ‘‘more solitary, less Christological,’’ and Cather and Berry, whom he deems ‘‘more deeply communal,’’ essentially more Catholic as he notices these latter two drawing from ‘‘medieval theological sources,’’ notably Pascal and Dante (23). This useful distinction allows Bilbro to avoid a common pitfall of ecocritical studies—interpreting nature spirituality without a critical theological lens. While Thoreau and Muir call their readers to be ‘‘attentive, worshipful recipients of the divine grace given through God’s creation,’’ Cather and Berry ‘‘are worried that attentive watching may not be enough’’ (181). They imagine 378 Christianity & Literature 65(3) characters who take a more active role ‘‘in both stopping this [environmental] destruction and healing the damage it has caused,’’ and they do this by way of medieval Christian sources (181). Consequently, Bilbro locates the need to understand these writers’ theological experience. His brief survey of Puritan theology provides the context for the dualism—nature as spiritual sustenance and nature as material sign of divine favor—which he will trace in his search for a better tradition of harmony with and care for nature. In his chapter on Thoreau, Bilbro agrees with Lawrence Buell that confusion about Thoreau stems from confusion about Transcendentalism at large. Bilbro seeks to prove that Thoreau was not entirely dismissive of his New England heritage . He reads Thoreau’s qualms on the catechism in Walden (his neighbors, if you will recall, had ‘‘somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever’’’) as an attempt to goad his readers into embracing God’s glory in nature. In Bilbro’s view, the man of Walden admired the Puritans’ focus on ‘‘spiritual bread,’’ and agreed with them when they would harangue their fellow settlers for seeking only material gain in the New World (39). Drawing from recently discovered sources, Bilbro suggests that through Mary Moody Emerson, Thoreau may even have had experience with the writings of Jonathan...