Wendell Berry’s “What Are People For?”

By |2018-08-30T21:13:19-05:00August 30th, 2018|

As one reads What Are People For?, an important underlying and unifying theme—the struggle to avoid abstraction—emerges, a theme which reveals perhaps Wendell Berry’s greatest concern about modern life... What Are People For? by Wendell Berry (224 pages, North Point Press, 1990) “We should love life,” Dostoyevski once said, “more than the idea of life.” It is [...]

Wendell Berry on the Environment, the Economy, & the Imagination

By |2017-11-12T22:14:34-05:00November 12th, 2017|

The power of imagination is to see things whole, to see things clearly, to see things with sanctity, to see things with love… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Alan Cornett as he discusses Wendell Berry’s thoughts on environmentalism and climate change, wealth and the economy, hope [...]

The Cultivation of Complexity: Reading Wendell Berry

By |2018-11-19T20:36:46-05:00July 13th, 2017|

Wendell Berry’s poetry sings with the love of a man for his home, enticing the reader to embrace his vision of local agrarian economy as sufficient for the good life… “From knowledge of the forest comes/at last knowledge of forestry:/what, without permanent damage,/can be spared and carefully removed,/leaving the whole forest whole. This learning/’takes [...]

Do Not Be Ashamed

By |2016-07-07T16:25:38-05:00July 10th, 2016|

You will be walking some night in the comfortable dark of your yard and suddenly a great light will shine round about you, and behind you will be a wall you never saw before. It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape, and that you are guilty: you misread [...]

Can a Southerner Ever Escape the South?

By |2016-06-11T09:25:39-05:00June 3rd, 2016|

In October of 1997, I attended the Southern Historical Association’s convention in Atlanta because I wanted to hear Paul Conkin’s presidential address, “Hot, Humid, and Sad.” What I heard was largely a history of the South in which climate and geography shaped a complex skein of human choices. Mostly a dense and almost perversely [...]

There is Always Hope: Wendell Berry on the Environment, the Economy, and the Imagination

By |2018-12-08T14:13:40-05:00May 24th, 2014|Tags: |

Wendell Berry addressed faith, agrarianism, and why he hates “environmentalism” in a ninety minute conversation with Centre College Professor Eric Mount. The two men sat in angled wingback chairs before a crowd of more than two hundred listeners in the sumptuous surroundings of Louisville’s Crescent Hill Baptist Church. In true professorial fashion, Mount made [...]

Wendell Berry: Modern Agrarian

By |2016-07-28T19:30:49-05:00November 6th, 2013|Tags: |

     The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry, Mark T. Mitchell and Nathan Schlueter, eds., ISI Books. A year ago, when my wife and I were waiting for a flight out of Logan Airport, a roughhewn man of about 60 was sitting a few seats away from us reading a book I would have been [...]

A Review of Andy Catlett: Early Travels by Wendell Berry

By |2013-12-20T15:28:30-05:00October 25th, 2013|

Wendell Berry is a philosopher, and an important one in this postmodern era, who utilizes the essay, the poem, and, most importantly, the novel, to express his observations of concrete human beings and their life in community. It is in his novels, purposefully located in an agrarian setting, that he depicts the intrinsic interdependency of [...]

Hannah Coulter & The Bourgeois Family

By |2016-02-12T15:28:29-05:00February 21st, 2013|

The rise of techno-capitalism has signaled the triumph of the “bourgeois family” and the demise of the “traditional” family. Christian theologian Stanley Hauerwas said that economist Adam Smith was well aware that the “weakening of familial ties would increase the necessity of sympathy between strangers and result in cooperative forms of behavior that had [...]

Economy of the Tao: Wendell Berry & Economic Health

By |2016-01-16T12:43:37-05:00December 30th, 2012|

Wendell Berry Berry’s economic program, what he calls the “little economy,” is a smaller wheel in the larger motion of the “Great Economy.” To understand the former, it is vital to grasp the latter. In the following, then, Berry’s vision of the broader drama of human action is set forth, followed by [...]

It All Turns on Affection by Wendell Berry

By |2016-05-24T15:41:48-05:00April 25th, 2012|

Wendell Berry In this lecture Mr. Berry challenges our assumptions about the economy, our culture and our place in the world. He also asks profound questions regarding our connections with each other and the environment. Will we seek to escape our limits and reconnect with nature, our families, our neighbors and our [...]

Love and The World We Live In

By |2016-11-26T09:52:19-05:00December 14th, 2011|

I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling [...]

Live the Fourth!

By |2014-12-09T11:23:30-05:00July 1st, 2011|Tags: |

At the double-digit Catholic high schools across Cincinnati, most of them participate in KAIROS, a spiritual retreat. Myself included, hundreds of students attend and have attended the retreats every year as juniors and/ or seniors. The motto of this retreat is “Live the Fourth,” which essentially means, live every day like it is the fourth [...]