Steven T. Katz and James Spickard have argued that even though mystical and ecstatic experiences are often self-defined as unmediated experiences of the divine, fundamentally these experiences are always mediated to some degree through the mystic's own cultural milieu and religious language. The filtration of Mormon naturalist Terry Tempest Williams' mystical encounters with nature through a Mormon cultural lens, which is tied to a historic and mythic topophilia, lends Williams' writing a creative organicism that deftly combines diverse and contradictory elements. On one hand, Williams points to the irony of her chosen subject in light of the problematic relation Mormon culture has had with environmentalism and eroticism. On the other hand, a distinctly Mormon sensibility shapes Williams' love for the sacred geography of Utah and her attunement to the spiritual dimensions of the American landscape. In Williams' ““greening”” of Mormonism, we see the work of religio-cultural production in action, as she creates a unique fusion of nature mysticism and Latter-day sensibilities.

This content is only available via PDF.