‘Sacred Place: Celtic Spirituality & Nature’

Passionate English Professor Dr. Kevin Koch spoke to the community Thursday, Feb. 25, in ACC Ballroom. This event, which was Faith and Values Education Committee hospitality event, focused on Koch’s inprogress work that he will work on while in Ireland this semester.

Koch has written two books exploring the spirituality of the earth. These books include “Skiing At Midnight: A Nature Journal from Dubuque County, Iowa” and “The Driftless Land: Spirit of Place in the Upper Mississippi Valley.” He teaches creative nonfiction writing including Nature Writing and Monastery Voices. Koch adventures in nature through outdoor sports, such as cross country skiing, and peaceful reflection.

The focus of his presentation was to establish how pagan and Christian cultures unite in their love for nature in Ireland. He examined eight principles of Celtic spirituality of nature with eight Celtic feasts and celestial events of the year. It confirmed the great admiration and love for nature in the Celtic tradition. Most of his points consisted of quotations or passages from the Celtic culture and religious contexts. After every two points, Koch asked tables to reflect together with prompts. This was a great opportunity for individuals to do self-reflection and share their ideas with other faculty, students and staff.

“There are places on earth where the divide between the human and divine are very thin,” junior Jenny Andrysczyk said. “The earth shows that heaven is united with God in all aspects. It is truly amazing.”

Many of the attendees responded positively about the presentation. It was very peaceful and a worthy reminder of the uniqueness of the earth. Whether people believe in a God, gods or neither, it is undeniable that there is something celestial and beautiful about the Earth.

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