The Temple at the End of the Universe

The Temple at the End of the Universe

A Search for Spirituality in the Anthropocene

Written by: Neufeld, Josiah

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A journalistic memoir by a lapsed evangelical Christian that examines how the ecological crisis is shifting the ground of religious faith.

Our species is leaving scars on the earth that will last for millennia. How has religious ideology helped bring humanity to the brink of catastrophe? What new expressions of faith might help us respond with grace, self-sacrifice, and love? What will spark our compassion, transcend our divisions, and spur us to action? 

Josiah Neufeld explores how the interlocking crises of climate change have shifted the ground of religious faith on a quest that is both philosophical and deeply personal. As the son of Christian missionaries based in Burkina Faso, Neufeld grew up aware of his privilege in an unjust world. His faith gave way to skepticism as he realized the fundamental injustice underpinning evangelical Christianity: only a minority would be saved, and the rest would be damned. 

He was left, though, with an understanding of how people’s actions are influenced by spiritual motives and religious convictions, and of how a framework of faith can counter one’s sense of personal powerlessness. The Temple at the End of the Universe is the rallying cry for a new spiritual paradigm for the Anthropocene.

A journalistic memoir by a lapsed evangelical Christian that examines how the ecological crisis is shifting the ground of religious faith.

Our species is leaving scars on the earth that will last for millennia. How has religious ideology helped bring humanity to the brink of catastrophe? What new expressions of faith might help us respond with grace, self-sacrifice, and love? What will spark our compassion, transcend our divisions, and spur us to action? 

Josiah Neufeld explores how the interlocking crises of climate change have shifted the ground of religious faith on a quest that is both philosophical and deeply personal. As the son of Christian missionaries based in Burkina Faso, Neufeld grew up aware of his privilege in an unjust world. His faith gave way to skepticism as he realized the fundamental injustice underpinning evangelical Christianity: only a minority would be saved, and the rest would be damned. 

He was left, though, with an understanding of how people’s actions are influenced by spiritual motives and religious convictions, and of how a framework of faith can counter one’s sense of personal powerlessness. The Temple at the End of the Universe is the rallying cry for a new spiritual paradigm for the Anthropocene.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Jun 6, 2023
Specifications 224 pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Written By

JOSIAH NEUFELD is an award-winning journalist who grew up as an expatriate in Burkina Faso and returned to Canada as a young adult. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in the Walrus, Hazlitt, the Globe and Mail, Eighteen Bridges, the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Sun, Utne Reader, Prairie Fire, and the New Quarterly. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Written By

JOSIAH NEUFELD is an award-winning journalist who grew up as an expatriate in Burkina Faso and returned to Canada as a young adult. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in the Walrus, Hazlitt, the Globe and Mail, Eighteen Bridges, the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Sun, Utne Reader, Prairie Fire, and the New Quarterly. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Josiah Neufeld’s fascinating quest is both a memoir and investigation into religion’s attempts — and refusals — to confront the ecological crisis facing modern society and the natural world. This is an urgent and beautifully written exploration of the search for a new understanding.

” —Deborah Campbell, Hilary Weston Prize–winning author of A Disappearance in Damascus

A fascinating journey described in clear and compelling prose, from stifling certainty to constructive questioning. Anyone who's tried to make sense of the deformed Christianity that wields so much power in our world will profit from this book — and so will anyone who's on a quest of their own, determined to figure out how to help this beautiful and ailing planet.

” —Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon