The Great Work - Thomas Berry
First Published: 1999
Thomas Berry is one of the most eminent cultural historians of our time. Here he presents the culmination of his ideas and urges us to move from being a disrupting force on the Earth to a benign presence. This transition is the Great Work -- the most necessary and most ennobling work we will ever undertake. Berry's message is not one of doom but of hope. He reminds society of its function, particularly the universities and other educational institutions whose role is to guide students into an appreciation rather than an exploitation of the world around them. Berry is the leading spokesperson for the Earth, and his profound ecological insight illuminates the path we need to take in the realms of ethics, politics, economics, and education if both we and the planet are to survive.
The future can exist only if humans understand how to commune with the natural world rather than exploit it, explains author and renowned ecologist Thomas Berry (The Dream of the Earth, The Universe Story). "Already the planet is so damaged and the future is so challenged by its rising human population that the terms of survival will be severe beyond anything we have known in the past."
This may make him sound like a scolding, doomsday prophet, but Berry is an optimistic soul, hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of cherishing the natural world in the third millennium. "Our future destiny rests even more decisively on our capacity for intimacy in our human-Earth relations." Berry predicts. From this premise, Berry reveals why we need to adore our blessed planet, while also examining why we are culturally driven toward exploiting nature. Because Berry has a science background as well as a spiritual orientation (he is the founder of the History of Religions Program at Fordham University), he brings a balanced and fresh voice to social ecology. Even though he writes for the masses, Berry is by no means a lightweight--chapters include "Ecological Geography," "The Extractive Economy," "The Corporation Story," and "Reinventing the Human." --Gail Hudson
"Berry believes we stand at a defining moment in history, one in which the earth itself calls out to us to embark upon a resacralization of nature, a new ecological beginning. Berry is our conscience, our prophet, our guide. He speaks to what is best within us, in a voice that is inclusive, ecumenical, generous, and wise. His Great Work should -- and must -- be ours."
-- Chet Raymo, Orion
"A visionary book, full of insight, erudition, and cogency."
-- Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology, Washington University
Print Length: 258 pages
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Jul 27, 2012, 17:49:55
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