Throughout history man has been connected with the wilderness. For many indigenous cultures, the wild served all of their practical as well as spiritual needs. The men and boys of these cultures formed an intimate relationship with the natural world, and because of this spiritual understanding, protected and watched over the wild. Since the age of the Industrial Revolution, men have become alienated from the once sacred relationship with the wilderness. The wilderness became the target of objectification and exploitation instead of worship and respect. Many groups over the past 200 years have attempted reestablish a spiritual understanding of the wilderness, but have been unsuccessful in creating a new dialogue between men and the wilderness. What many of the Christian faith must realize is that it is possible for one to seek this new relationship with the wild and maintain one's own faith tradition. It is the goal of this Independent Study to create a new role model for the Christian male: the Christian Wildman. The Christian Wildman is a man who is a spiritual archetype for the Christian male. He is a man who experiences nature's beauty and starkness, and who connects to God both in nature and through nature. Finally, the Christian Wildman is active in displaying his beliefs, turning his virtues in action through wilderness preservation and preaching the necessity for developing an intimate relationship with the wild. It is my goal to merge with the Wildman concept four new virtues to exemplify modem Christian male spirituality: the Mystic, Lover, Husband, and Activist. It is by incorporating these virtues that one is able to reconstruct a Christian male spirituality that will give a new perception of the men's role in his relationship with the wilderness, from exploiter to protector.
Binder, Jeff, "Reconnecting the Christian Male With the Wilderness: Embodying the Christian Wildman" (2003). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 4066.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2003 Jeff Binder