The University Press of Kentucky

Culture of the Land

Norman Wirzba

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Culture of the Land

previous PREV 1 2 3

Results 21-24 of 24

:
:
restricted access This search result is for a Book

The Virtues of Ignorance

Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge

edited by Bill Vitek and Wes Jackson

Human dependence on technology has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, and so too has the notion that we can fix environmental problems with scientific applications. The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge proposes an alternative to this hubristic, shortsighted, and dangerous worldview. The contributors argue that uncritical faith in scientific knowledge has created many of the problems now threatening the planet and that our wholesale reliance on scientific progress is both untenable and myopic. Bill Vitek, Wes Jackson, and a diverse group of thinkers, including Wendell Berry, Anna Peterson, and Robert Root-Bernstein, offer profound arguments for the advantages of an ignorance-based worldview. Their essays explore this philosophy from numerous perspectives, including its origins, its essence, and how its implementation can preserve vital natural resources for posterity. All conclude that we must simply accept the proposition that our ignorance far exceeds our knowledge and always will. Rejecting the belief that science and technology are benignly at the service of society, the authors argue that recognizing ignorance might be the only path to reliable knowledge. They also uncover an interesting paradox: knowledge and insight accumulate fastest in the minds of those who hold an ignorance-based worldview, for by examining the alternatives to a technology-based culture, they expand their imaginations. Demonstrating that knowledge-based worldviews are more dangerous than useful, The Virtues of Ignorance looks closely at the relationship between the land and the future generations who will depend on it. The authors argue that we can never improve upon nature but that we can, by putting this new perspective to work in our professional and personal lives, live sustainably on Earth.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Wendell Berry and Higher Education

Cultivating Virtues of Place

Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro. foreword by Wendell Berry

Prominent author and cultural critic Wendell Berry is well known for his contributions to agrarianism and environmentalism, but his commentary on education has received comparatively little attention. Berry has been eloquently unmasking America's cultural obsession with restless mobility for decades, arguing that it causes damage to both the land and the character of our communities. Education, he maintains, plays a central role in this obsession, inculcating in students' minds the American dream of moving up and moving on.

Drawing on Berry's essays, fiction, and poetry, Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro illuminate the influential thinker's vision for higher education in this pathbreaking study. Each chapter begins with an examination of one of Berry's fictional narratives and then goes on to consider how the passage inspires new ways of thinking about the university's mission. Throughout, Baker and Bilbro argue that instead of training students to live in their careers, universities should educate students to inhabit and serve their places. The authors also offer practical suggestions for how students, teachers, and administrators might begin implementing these ideas.

Baker and Bilbro conclude that institutions guided by Berry's vision might cultivate citizens who can begin the work of healing their communities -- graduates who have been educated for responsible membership in a family, a community, or a polity.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Wendell Berry and Religion

Heaven's Earthly Life

edited by Joel James Shuman and L. Roger Owens

Farmer, poet, essayist, and environmental writer Wendell Berry is acclaimed for his ideas regarding the values inherent in an agricultural society. Place, community, good work, and simple pleasures are but a few of the values that form the bedrock of Berry’s thought. While the notion of reverence is central to Berry, he is not widely known as a religious writer. However, the moral underpinnings of his work are rooted in Christian tradition, articulating the tenet that faith and stewardship of the land are not mutually exclusive. In Wendell Berry and Religion, editors Joel J. Shuman and L. Roger Owens probe the moral and spiritual implications of Berry’s work. Chief among them are the notions that the earth is God’s provisional gift to mankind and that studying how we engage material creation reflects important truths. This collection reveals deep, thoughtful, and provocative conversations within Berry’s writings, illuminating the theological inspirations inherent in his work.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Wendell Berry

Life and Work

edited by Jason Peters

Essayist, social critic, poet, “mad farmer,” novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With his unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but profound solutions. Berry’s essays, novels, and poems give voice to a provocative but consistent philosophy, one that extends far beyond its agrarian core to include elements of sociology, the natural sciences, politics, religion, philosophy, linguistics, agriculture, and other seemingly incompatible fields of study. Wendell Berry: Life and Work examines this wise and original thinker, appraising his written work and exploring his influence as an activist and artist. Jason Peters has assembled a broad variety of writers including Hayden Carruth, Sven Birkerts, Barbara Kingsolver, Stanley Hauerwas, Donald Hall, Ed McClanahan, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, Norman Wirzba, Wes Jackson, and Eric T. Freyfogle. Each contributor examines an aspect of Berry’s varied yet cohesive body of work. Also included are highly personal glimpses of Wendell Berry: his career, academic influence, and unconventional lifestyle. These deft sketches of Berry show the purity of his agrarian lifestyle and demonstrate that there is nothing simple about the life to which he has devoted himself. He embraces a life that sustains him not by easy purchase and haste but by physical labor and patience, not by mindless acquiescence to a centralized economy but by careful attention to local ways and wisdom. Wendell Berry: Life and Work combines biographical sketches, personal accounts, literary criticism, and social commentary. Together, the contributors illuminate Berry as he is: a complex man of place and community with an astonishing depth of domestic, intellectual, filial, and fraternal attributes. The result is a rich portrait of one of America’s most profound and honest thinkers.

previous PREV 1 2 3

Results 21-24 of 24

:
:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Culture of the Land

Content Type

  • (24)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access