Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.
Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?
Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as the champion of responsibilities and priorities that serve the health, vitality and happiness of the whole community of creation.
When New and Selected Poems, Volume One was originally published in 1992, Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award. In the fourteen years since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country. This collection features thirty poems published only in this volume as well as selections from the poet’s first eight books.
Mary Oliver’s perceptive, brilliantly crafted poems about the natural landscape and the fundamental questions of life and death have won high praise from critics and readers alike. In “The Summer Day,” she asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” “Do you love this world?” she interrupts a poem about peonies to ask the reader. “Do you cherish your humble and silky life?” She makes us see the extraordinary in our everyday lives, how something as common as light can be “an invitation / to happiness, / and that happiness, / when it’s done right, / is a kind of holiness, / palpable and redemptive.” She illuminates how a near miss with an alligator can be the catalyst for seeing the world “as if for the second time/the way it really is.” Oliver’s passionate demonstrations of delight are powerful reminders of the bond between every individual, all living things, and the natural world.
This first collection of Thomas Merton's nature writings serves as a primer on eco-spirituality. Thomas Merton: millions know him as the author of The Seven Storey Mountain, the international bestseller and a modern spiritual classic. Now, in the first collection of his writings on nature, Merton is revealed as a man whose spirituality is rooted in nature, an environmentalist ahead of his time. These writings serve as a primer on eco-spirituality, revealing Merton's approach to ecology as a spiritual issue that exposes the degree of human alienation from the sacredness of the planet. Kathleen Deignan, Ph.D. has skillfully grouped over 300 of Merton's nature writings into thematic sections on the seasons, elements, creatures and other topics and has added an informative introduction. A foreword by renowned environmental and spiritual mentor Thomas Berry and art by John Giuliani complete this important compilation.
Rabbi Jamie Korngold has always loved the outdoors, the place where humankind first met with God. Whether it’s mountaineering, running ultramarathons, or just sitting by a stream, she finds her spirituality and Judaism thrive most in the wilderness. In her work as the Adventure Rabbi, leading groups toward spiritual fulfillment in the outdoors, Korngold has uncovered the rich traditions and lessons God taught our ancestors in the wild. In God in the Wilderness Korngold uses rabbinic wisdom and witty insights to guide readers through the Bible, showing people of all faiths that, despite the hectic pace of life today, it is vital for us to reclaim these lessons, awaken our inner spirituality, and find meaning, tranquillity, and purpose in our lives.
A former dean at Vanderbilt University's Divinity School, Sallie McFague calls Christians down to earth. In a readable and available style, alive with concrete imagery and autobiographical material, McFague crafts a Christian spirituality centered on nature as the focus and locus of our encounter with the divine. She helps us see all life as created in the image of God.
"Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature" by Sallie McFague presents a bold, imaginative, and deeply spiritual approach to loving the earth by seeing it as the body of God. The author, Carpenter Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School, challenges Christians to extend the ethic of care to trees, wolves, chipmunks, and rainforests. She condemns the arrogant eye that tries to dominate nature as an object and offers instead an apology for the loving eye that respects the details and the differences in the world of parks, lakes, and gardens.
McFague's outline of a Christian nature spirituality begins with a tribute to Francis of Assisi who saw the wind and sun as both valuable in themselves and as intimations of God. She then explains her subject-subjects model and the importance of ecological relationality. McFague regards nature writers such as Sue Hubbell and Annie Dillard as tutors who respect nature and emphasize the spiritual practices of attention, listening, wonder, and reverence.
In order to combat what Robert Pyle calls "the extinction of experience," the author recommends direct experiences with nature in our neighborhoods and communities. A part of extending Christian love to nature means involvement in local efforts on behalf of beleaguered streams, polluted rivers, and rundown urban parks.
McFague ends on a note of optimism: "A Christian nature spirituality is also determinedly hopeful because it believes that the creator of these wonderful, ordinary creatures is working in, through, and on behalf of us all." McFague is a true visionary whose works belong in every Christian home alongside the aquarium, the cat's bed, and the window overlooking the backyard.
What causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Are we merely subject to the whim of forces beyond our control? Or, in the face of constant disruption, can we build better shock absorbers--for ourselves, our communities, our economies, and for the planet as a whole?
Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy relate breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social development, from urban planning to national energy security--circumstances that affect us all.
Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.
This is the intriguing story of one of the world’s first conservationists, who served as the inspiration behind the Boy Scouts of America and dedicated his life to preserving nature and promoting outdoor youth education. Celebrated in text and visuals, Ernest Thompson Seton features more than 100 of Seton’s paintings and illustrations and will serve as the catalog for an exhibition (which opened May 23, 2010) on Seton at the New Mexico History Museum, which sees more than 100,000 visitors annually.
First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite," A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land.
Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The PrimalPlace, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago.
The Green Bible will equip and encourage you to see God's vision for creation and help you engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. This first Bible of its kind includes inspirational essays from key leaders such as N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry. As you read the scriptures anew, The Green Bible will help you see that caring for the earth is not only a calling, but a lifestyle.
The Green Bible is a unique treasure for people who want to more fully live out the scriptural values of stewardship, love for their neighbors, and care for the underprivileged. It provides inspiration and valuable resources for contemplation, community building, and action on behalf of the planet.” — Carl Pope, executive director, Sierra Club