I and Thou at Ghost Ranch

March 25, 2015

John Philip and Ali Newell

John Philip and Ali Newell —Courtesy of John Philip and Ali Newell

ABIQUIU, NM

During July 6-12, John Philip and Ali Newell and Nahum Ward-Lev will join in a special week of teaching from one of the most important spiritual texts of the 20th century, I and Thou, by the Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber. The program is open to students and seekers of all ages.

Buber’s book distinguishes between the personal encounter with the Sacred at the heart of all life and the tendency to treat others as mere objects to be used for one’s own ends. The week will ask what this great Jewish text has to offer today and consider how each spiritual tradition has a distinct offering for blessing in our lives and world. The text is required reading for the week.

The program will be held at Casa del Sol, Ghost Ranch’s spirituality retreat center in the heart of  the painted desert. Days will consist of contemplative worship at the rising of the sun in Ghost Ranch’s Agape Center courtyard, teaching and sharing in the mornings and evenings, with rest, silence, and free time in the afternoons. Ghost Ranch offers an embarrassment of riches for optional afternoon activities, including trail rides, hikes, outdoor adventures, O’Keeffe landscape tours, museums, library, and massage. Summer will be in full swing, which means added Wellness offerings, afternoon Open Art Studio, and other special offerings, all part of the program package. 

The Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell is a poet, peacemaker, and scholar, internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality. In 2011 he received the Contemplative Voices Award from the Shalem Institute in Washington DC in recognition of his commitment to spirituality and peacemaking. John Philip divides his time between Edinburgh, which is where his family home is, and his many speaking engagements throughout the English-speaking world. He is a former Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland. John Philip is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for peace among the great wisdom traditions of humanity. His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh and he has authored over 15 books, including Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul, and most recently, The Rebirthing of God. 

Ali Newell is a Church of Scotland minister and serves as Associate Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh. She and John Philip are parents of four children and live in Edinburgh.

Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev is the Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM. Nahum is the founder and leader of Beit Midrash, a wisdom school and learning community. Nahum has a particular passion for exploring the social critique and vision of the Hebrew Prophets and applying that learning to contemporary social activism. He has taught Scripture at retreat centers all across the country. 

Nahum Ward-Lev

Nahum Ward-Lev —Courtesy of Nahum Ward-Lev

In addition to being a frequent guest instructor at Ghost Ranch, often partnering with the Newells, he has been a teacher and leader at the Stony Point Summer Institute, a multifaith social justice summer institute for Muslim, Jewish and Christian young adults. 

Rates package your tuition, course materials, lodging and meals together. All rates are per person, double occupancy unless otherwise specified.  Private Bath, $1,395; Shared Bath: $1,155; Communal Bath: $1,065; Camping: $720. There is limited space for this program so early registration is encouraged. 

Ghost Ranch is a national education and retreat center of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in Northern New Mexico. Its synergy of beauty, its scientific value, its cultural and historical traditions and its spirituality make it like no other place in the world. 

For more information please phone Becky A. Chamberlain, Faith Community Liaison, at 505-685-4333, ext. 4156 or email her at beckyc@ghostranch.org

  1. Dear Philip and Ali I have enjoyed your writing over the past few years and will be taking sabbatical time in November/December 2016. Is it possible to attend a workshop or just take reflective time at your sanctuary? I look forward to your response. Peter Harney

    by Peter Harney

    January 17, 2016