The Larger Conversation
Contemplation and Place


Cover image (The Larger Conversation)

This volume, the final in Tim Lilburn’s decades-long meditation on philosophy and environmental consequences, traces a relationship between mystic traditions and the political world. Struck by the realization that he did not know how to be where he found himself, Lilburn embarked on a personal attempt at decolonization, seeking to uncover what is wrong within Canadian culture and to locate a possible path to recovery. He proposes a new epistemology leading to an ecologically responsible and spiritually acute relationship between settler Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and the land we inhabit. The Larger Conversation is a bold statement: a vital text for readers of environmental philosophy and for anyone interested in building toward conversation between Indigenous peoples and settlers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front cover 1
Title page 4
Copyright page 5
Epigraph 6
Contents 8
Introduction 10
I 18
1 The Ethical Significance of the Human Relationship to Place 20
2 The Start of Real Thinking 34
3 On Scholem, Ruusbroec and Exegesis 40
4 Imagination, Psychagogy and Ontology 52
5 Mostly on Prayer 74
6 Seeing into Things 86
II 108
7 A Mandelstamian Generation in China 110
8 Poetry as Pneumatic Force 124
9 Fresh Coherence 132
10 Turning the Soul Around 142
11 Negative Theological Meditations 160
12 Thinking the Rule of Benedict within Modernity 178
13 Thomas Merton’s Novitiate Talks on Cistercian Usages and Richard Kearney’s Theandrism 188
III 202
14 A Poetics of Decolonization 204
15 Contemplative Experience; Autochthonous Practice 212
16 Faith and Land 226
17 Nothingness 236
Epilogue 246
Dramatis Personae 258
Glossary 262
Acknowledgements 266
Reading 268
Permissions 274
Index 276
About the Author 294