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Wendell Berry and Religion: Heaven's Earthly Life

edited by Joel James Shuman and L. Roger Owens

Availablecloth$40.00s 978-0-8131-2555-8
Availableweb pdf$40.00s 978-0-8131-7349-8
Availableepub$40.00s 978-0-8131-3928-9
Culture of the Land
272 pages  Pubdate: 11/09/2009  6 x 9  0

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.

Joel J. Shuman, associate professor and chair of the department of theology at King’s College, is the author of several books. L. Roger Owens earned his Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Duke University and is copastor at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church.

Shuman presents articles based on how the work of author Wendell Berry can be interpreted in to the context of living a true Christian life.

“Wendell Berry is our most important writer at work in this country. . . . [Wendell Berry and Religion] will help people see the roots of his work, beyond the idea that he is ‘writing about farming.’” -- Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

“It may surprise some of Wendell Berry’s many followers that his views have been greatly influenced by his Christian faith, and it may surprise some Christians that their communities and their theology very much need to be influenced by Berry’s kind of Christianity. These are the insights we owe to the contributors of this important book." -- Albert Borgmann, author of Real American Ethics

Editors Joel J. Shuman and L. Roger Owens examine the theological themes found throughout Berry’s work and seek to expose those Christian principles while at the same time critiquing them. -- kydirect.net

"This is a remarkable collection for reference and reflection."--Mary Popham, The Courier Journal

"Presents the sophisticated, yet accessible writing of clear thinking, principled individuals who care deeply about their faith and the places and communities in which they live."--Christianity and Literature