Indian ecologist Vandana Shiva has observed: "With globalization, life itself has emerged as the ultimate commodity. Planet Earth is being replaced by Life Inc. in the world of free trade and deregulated commerce. Through patents and genetic engineering, new colonies are being carved out." Mary C. Grey, a Catholic British theologian and social activist who is D.J. James Professor of Pastoral Theology at the University of Wales, believes that this phenomenon of global capitalism has seduced millions around the world to surrender their desires and dreams to consumerism. But this fast-paced game has only a few winners, and the rich get richer while poverty, inequitable distribution of wealth, and environmental destruction grow.
Grey is convinced that love, longing, and sacrifice can unite and become a transforming vision for society. This ambitious work is organized into three thematic sections: losing heart, restless heart, and taking heart. Grey comes up with some powerful chapters on women, wilderness and water; a call for a new kenotic theology that offers an alternative to the over-indulgence of consumerist society; a bold outline of Spirit as the animator of our dreams, our service of others, and our love for the good Earth; an enlightened ecofeminist theology that brings together cross, creation and liberation; a superb overview of the writings of Annie Dillard and a rousing tribute to the spirituality of Mahatma Gandhi with his establishment of communities of austerity. The author's muscular mix of politics, theology, feminism and ecology makes for a rigorous reading of globalism in our time and the antidotes that ecomysticism can offer to its toxins. We were especially impressed by the author's thoughtful treatment of the spiritual practices of yearning, hospitality, justice, and beauty.