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Re-Visioning Science and Spirituality through Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Rudolf Steiner

Adrian Hofstetter

192 pp.  
5 ½ x 8 ½

Lindisfarne Books


Published:  October 2004


Earth-Friendly collects the fruits of a lifetime of study and teaching in search of a holistic, organismic, living science, respectful of the sacredness of nature and the ubiquity of the spirit. As a biology philosopher, Sister Adrian’s first teachers were Aquinas and Aristotle; later she came to know the work of Goethe and Rudolf Steiner.

Earth-Friendly traces the development of Sister Adrian’s conviction that "the spiritual science flowing from the thought of St. Albert and St.Thomas, as developed seven hundred years later by Rudolf Steiner, could recapture the true greatness of the West as it reaches out to the East to create an ‘earthfriendly re-visioning of science and spirituality.’"

Reviews & Endorsements:

“A testimony to teachers who instilled in her a love of learning, and to parents who animated her abiding care for those in need, these essays reveal just how liberating learning can be for one who allows what Bernard Lonergan identified as the "unrestricted desire to know" to direct her life. May her witness inspire other generations to let a vision of faith open the human dimensions of science, as mentors like Owen Barfield and Rudolph Steiner guide us to a contemporary Thomas Aquinas. The convergences are nearly miraculous but never forced, showing how much a personal search for understanding can realize for others.” —David B. Burrell, C.S.C., Hesburgh professor of philosophy and theology, University of Notre Dame

“In his 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio, John Paul II called for a recovery of philosophy as an authentic wisdom capable of nurturing the contemporary search for truth and meaning. Sr. Adrian’s book is just such a recovery. In the integrative spirit of her Dominican brother Thomas Aquinas, she courageously tests the frontiers of current knowledge in areas ranging from food to spirituality. Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s living thinking, she provides us with sound directions for creating a peaceful, life-enhancing, and earth-friendly world view.” —Tyson Anderson, professor of philosophy and religion, Saint Leo University

“The "signs of the times" that so motivated St Dominic to launch an entirely new form of apostolic religious life must also move Dominicans to help re-create, in the words of Thomas Berry, a new vision of a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship. Adrian Hofstetter is doing just that. In her essays, Adrian reflects on the science of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his great interpreter Rudolph Steiner, whose vision of nature underscores the interconnection between science and spirituality. More importantly for us Dominicans, she points the way back to our brother Thomas Aquinas, whose teaching on creation provides a philosophical base, not only for Steiner's work, but for all who are committed to bringing about this new vision.” —Sharon Therese Zayac, O.P., author of Earth Spirituality in the Catholic and Dominican Tradition

“Earth-Friendly invites us to follow Adrian Hofstetter's explorations of a new kind of science, one rooted in a clear and profound epistemology that allows the wholeness of nature to become visible. These essays let us participate in a personal spiritual journey to overcome the rifts between philosophy, religion, and science that characterized the 20th Century. We can learn much from them.” —Craig Holdrege, author of Genetics and the Manipulation of Life

“These luminous essays reflect the thought and deep work of a woman whose long and brilliant life has engaged some of the most profound revelations of our time. As mystic-activist, spiritual scientist, and endless enquirer into the workings of the world, she brings fresh and radical perspective that stuns as it awakens the reader. Earth-Friendly is at once an education for the new century and an inspiration for those who would make a difference, and even, a new creation.” —Jean Houston, Ph.D, author of A Mythic Life : Learning to Live our Greater Story

“Adrian Hofstetter's earth-friendly collection of essays is compelling and hard to put down. I found myself not wanting to stop reading. One is carried away by the vision, the passion, the insights. Her affection for science, her critique of it, the connections between ancient wisdom and the new cosmology, between Thomas Aquinas and Rudolf Steiner, the implications of a holistic approach for education, for today's world all reflect a sage at work. Some of the essays ought to be required reading for every Dominican, for every educator.” —Donald Goergen, O.P., member, Friends of God Dominican Ashram

“Sr. Adrian Hofstetter, Dominican to the core, is a seeker of truth. Her renaissance book, Earth-Friendly, builds a bridge between science and religion in a way that strengthens both. It calls scientists to a renewed regard for mystery. It calls the rest of us to a new respect for the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of the ages. This book lifts the scientific beyond the technical, and stretches the rest of us to think of both life and spirit, the spiritual and the material, in new and integrated ways. It is exactly what we need in this fragmented society where we know more and more about less and less and seldom understand life as a whole.” —Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., author of Scarred by Trouble, Transformed by Hope, Executive Director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality

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