Why do so many people feel a spiritual connection with the sea? Why does so much of our art, poetry and expressions of religious experience draw so heavily on imagery of its power, its wideness and its depth? These are questions at the heart of The Sacramental Sea, a unique exploration of our complex relationship with the seas and the oceans through history.
In charting our changing religious attitudes towards it over time, Edmund Newell paints a striking picture of the sea as highly sacramental: a powerful representation of, and pointer to, God. The Sacramental Sea closes with a timely call for us all to view the current environmental crisis – including rising sea levels – as one of the most pressing spiritual issues of our time.
Ed Newell is a priest in the Church of England and an economic historian. He is currently Principal of Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, and was previously Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford and Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral. Before ordination he was a Research Fellow in Economic History at Nuffield College, Oxford. As well as his academic articles, he has written features for the Church Times, and five books. He is also a regular contributor to Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2.