The Author

Jeffrey Mark Golliher, Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist and priest in the Episcopal Church, has traveled widely to understand the spiritual dimension of the environmental crisis. For more than ten years, he was Canon for Environmental Justice and Community Development at the Cathedral for Saint John the Divine in Manhattan.

Today, he is a parish priest, community organizer and environmentalist, working with people who want to live more spiritually aware, healthy, and sustainable lives. As the environmental representative for the worldwide Anglican Communion at the United Nations, he has organized global conferences on spirituality, ecology, and community development; he has written and edited numerous books and articles on these subjects for the Anglican church and the United Nations. Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Golliher now lives with his wife, Asha, in upstate New York.

“Trees are sacred, and I’ll tell you why. Think of the trees we see. They breathe. They take in carbon dioxide, while giving us the oxygen we need. They make our lives possible. Without them, we wouldn’t exist. They hold vast amounts of water above ground. Although we don’t see it, it’s there: in their trunks, branches, and leaves. Not only that –people have traditionally regarded the mythological “cosmic tree” as the center of the spiritual universe. Some believe that the souls of children perch on its branches, like birds, before they’re born, while the souls of shamans and holy ones return there to shine as guiding lights for humanity. The cosmic tree still exists. Every one of us can find it within ourselves.”