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Animal Divina

Books We Love: Sarah Bowen

Critter lover and Spiritual Rebel author Sarah Bowen shares five cherished texts about animals.

Creature-filled books and cats reigned in my childhood bedroom. I dreamed of Aslan, recuperated from colds with Tigger, and earnestly analyzed Charlotte’s Web. Our family’s felines kept me company during countless “time outs,” as did the loquacious birds outside my window. In many ways, these influential animals—both real and mythic—supported me when the people in my house fell short. This love for all things furry and feathered eventually ferreted me into service as an animal chaplain. I channeled Hermione-Grainger-meets-St.-Francis-of-Assisi with complete abandon. Our house overflowed with illuminating books on diverse topics—from ahimsa to zoology, from animal sentience to Zoroastrian dog funerals—as I learned how to care for the more-than-human world. Fascinating stories of remarkable animals warmed my heart while heavy academic texts confirmed why their lives should be valued. Soon, perplexing my human neighbors, I began meditating with squirrels and imploring birds to join me in call-and-response kirtan. Admittedly, I do not have a church for critters (yet &hell …

About the Author

Sarah Bowen

Find spiritual practices in Sarah Bowen’s book Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective & Higher Purpose. Explore the intersection of animals and spirituality in her forthcoming Sacred Sendoffs: An Animal Chaplain’s Advice for Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, & Trying to Heal the Planet. And listen to her recent podcast with Rabbi Rami.

Bowen is a multifaith spiritual educator, animal chaplain, and award-winning author. As a member of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary’s faculty, Spiritual Directors International, and several recovery communities, Bowen seeks to help others connect with the higher power of their own understanding. She’s passionate about the study of the world’s great spiritual traditions; animal welfare; and travel to quirky, spiritually charged locations. When she grows up, Bowen hopes to be a Jedi. Connect at or follow her on Instagram @modernreverend.

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