God in the desert: Searching for the divine in the midst of death

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Although I was born and raised in the desert regions of the U.S. Southwest, in Tucson, Arizona, it was not until I lived elsewhere, especially in Chicago and Seattle for several years, that I began to notice the desert with new, more alert, and fresh eyes. I left Arizona to study religion at the University of Chicago and was immediately cognizant of the distinctiveness of my new surroundings. If it is the unique and incomparable Saguaro cacti that command one's attention in the deserts of Arizona, in Chicago it is the buildings and skyscrapers of the downtown skyline that evoke a feeling of awe. If the immensity of Lake Michigan reminds Chicagoans of their belonging to and dependence on nature, the vastness of the desert terrain does the same for Arizonans. As I look back at my time in Chicago, I am convinced that, besides preparing me for a life of study and teaching, the contrast of this great urban city with my desert experience in Arizona led me to reassess the desert and border regions of my upbringing. Perhaps, in addition to the substance of my theological learning, the distance from the Southwest gave me the perspective that I needed to understand and interpret the desert and border regions in a new light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Promised Land, A Perilous Journey
Subtitle of host publicationTheological Perspectives on Migration
PublisherUniversity of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)0268029733, 9780268029739
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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