“To know God is to love many things.” -Vincent van Gogh
I am a writer and minister who loves many things: a good cup of tea, theology, philosophy, Rilke, cats, Mary Oliver, Jane Austen, Bach, the Beatles, trees, classical guitar–and, of course, Vincent van Gogh.
I have also led retreats and conferences on Beauty and the spiritual life–both in the US and Canada–including e-courses with Spirituality & Practice.
Before earning advanced degrees in philosophy, theology, and education, my first degree–my first love–was music. Music, poetry, and the wonder of nature have inspired my experiential impetus toward a “Theology of Beauty.”
Living abroad on the coast of Ecuador for five years also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the beauty of diversity, both in people an in nature.
Beautiful ideas also inspire me. My favorite philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead, thought of God not as an all-powerful king in the sky, but rather as the “poet of the world.” The spiritual aspects of Beauty–with a capital B–continue to unfold in my life.
As an activist for the planet, I also believe we need to step away from our computers and tech toys and return to the beautiful world outdoors. A Theology of Beauty is one expression of Eco-Spirituality, a way in which people of all faiths can join hands for the sake of our planet and future generations.
You will find a full collection of my essays on Open Horizons (formerly called Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism), where I now serve as associate editor. Jay McDaniel and I share a blog called “Process Musings” hosted by Spirituality and Practice. My work has also been featured in A Network for Grateful Living., Daily Good, The Interfaith Observer, Thought Catalog, and The Philadelphia Sunday Sun.
My books include two books of inspirational essays, Embracing a Beautiful God (2003) and Fat Soul: A Philosophy of S-I-Z-E (2016), two theological novels, The Metaphor Maker (2009) and Fat Soul Fridays (2013), and a short theology of Beauty, Beauty and Process Theology: A Journey of Transformation (2020). I am also co-editor/contributor of an anthology of essays on beauty and ecology, Replanting Ourselves in Beauty: Toward an Ecological Civilization (2015).
I am ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and pastor a small, loving congregation in the beautiful rural landscape of Millersburg, MO. We are a “Green Chalice” church, seeking to lesson our carbon footprint and make a difference to the community around us.
I am not a tea drinker and thoroughly enjoyed both The Metaphor Maker and Fat Soul Friday’s …in its blog format. For the first time in a long time, I had to actually READ…to think, to ponder. I now have a few snippets of your work I carry in my iPad, my take-away’s from the lessons your characters learned that were meaningful to me. Can’t wait for what comes next! Sarah
Oh, I can’t wait to get Fat!
I just had the pleasure of reading “The Metaphor Maker,” (don’t know why it took me so long to discover it!) and I recommend it to anyone who reads this. Patricia’s novel is a wonderful piece of art full of interesting characters, philosophy, and events. It touched my heart and soul–and memories. This novel will particularly resonate with women who grew up in the 1960s and 70s. Can’t wait for “Fat Soul Fridays!” I also visit the website JJB — http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/ — and read Patricia’s essays–she is a feature writer for the website and I have become an avid fan–she is a wise woman with a beautiful heart. Thank you, Patricia
Amiga, you are too modest! How have I missed this site? it’s beautiful, and internet willing (ja!) and if the ocean ‘don’t’ rise, I look forward to reading every word!
Bergamot fragrance waifs scentfully throughout the pages with a mysterious agenda that draws one forward into this soft world of good will, attractive dreamers and not so obvious outcomes. I like the atmosphere created in the tea shop and can smell the salty taste of the nearby sea. Very good story telling from a beautiful Oklahoma gal !
This is PJ Anderson. I remember meeting, speaking to, and having tea with you. A lot has happened over the years and yes we both are published ministers and ordained ministers. You kind of know my story, but since the last time we met a lot more has happened. Feel free to contact me any time 210-430-3947 or the Email below.