â€¢ In a democratic commonwealth, what are the costs and consequences of rugged individualism?
â€¢ What, in the fullest sense, is involved in our National Security?
â€¢ When considering Weapons of Mass Destruction, does our inventory include soil loss, climate change, and ground water poisoning? And should we add Economic Weapons of Mass Destruction to our list of targets?
â€¢ Whose freedom are we considering when we speak of the “free market” or “free enterprise”?
â€¢ What is the price of ownership without affection?
These and several other questions lie at the heart of Wendell Berry’s latest collection of essays, writing “motivated by fear of our violence to one another and to the world, and my hope that we might do better.” Setting aside abstraction in favor of clarity, coherence, and passion, this new book provides a setting of immediate danger and profound hope. The core of this collection â€” “Imagination in Place,” “The Way of Ignorance,” “Quantity and Form,” “The Purpose of a Coherent Community,” “Compromise, Hell!” â€” consists of some of the finest essays of Wendell Berry’s long career, and the whole offers an exhilarating sense of purpose and a clear call to action.
For two thousand years, artists, social and cultural activists, politicians and philosophers, humanists and devoted spiritual seekers have all looked to the sayings of Jesus for inspiration and instruction. Unfortunately, on occasions too frequent and destructive to enumerate, the teachings of Christ have been either ignored or distorted by the very people calling themselves Christian. Today, we see a vigorous movement in America fueled by a politicized and engaged portion of the electorate involved in just such ignorance and distortion. Whether directed towards social intolerance or attitudes of warlike aggression, these right-wing citizens have claimed a power of influence that far exceeds their numbers.
This small book collects the sayings of Jesus, selected by Mr. Berry, who has contributed an essay of introduction. Here is a way of peace as described and directed by the greatest spiritual teacher in the West. This is a book of inspiration and prayerful compassion, and we may hope a ringing call to action at a time when our country and the world it once led stand at a dangerous crossroads.
Thanks go to Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky resources for letting me know about these two books. (Both books are scheduled to be on sale in November of this year.)