In the Heart of Nature: “Church of the Woods” Explores Spirituality in the Great Outdoors

By Tristan Angieri
Harvard Divinity School
May 8, 2024

On Sunday, April 28th, 2024, a diverse group of participants from the Harvard Divinity School (HDS), including students, faculty, staff and affiliates, embarked on a field trip to the unique spiritual community known as the Church of the Woods in Canterbury, New Hampshire as part of the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) Thinking with Plants and Fungi Initiative. This excursion served as an add-on to the Plant Consciousness reading group led by Rachael Petersen,  MDiv Candidate, and Natalia Schwien, PhD Candidate in the Study of Religion, which explores themes of plant intelligence and ecological interconnectivity. The field trip aimed to provide an immersive experience where participants could directly engage with the questions posed by the initiative: exploring concepts of intelligence, matter, and the nuances of care in the natural world.

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