Life Is a Miracle by Wendell Berry
An Essay Against Modern Superstition

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A thought-provoking and concise rebuttal to E.O. Wilson's Consilience. In his best-seller Consilience , E.O. Wilson presented a blueprint for the reconciliation of science with religion and the arts. In a carefully measured response, Wendell Berry demonstrates that Wilson's reconciliation is nothing more than the subjugation of religion and art by science, which alone, according to Wilson, would set the boundaries of discourse among the three disciplines. Berry argues that religion and art are not subject to the reductionist and materialistic assumptions of modern science, and cannot be contained within its boundaries or explained by its explanations. He says the aims of science have become hard to distinguish from those of industry and commerce, and he advocates a new Emancipation Proclamation to free life itself from enslavement by the corporations and their scientific underlings.The aim, according to Berry, is not consilience among the disciplines, but rather conversation. He concludes his argument by suggesting a number of changes in thought which would enable such a conversation to take place.

About Wendell Berry

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Wendell Berry The prolific poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry is a fifth-generation native of north central Kentucky. Berry taught at Stanford University; traveled to Italy and France on a Guggenheim Fellowship; and taught at New York University and the University of Kentucky, Lexington, before moving to Henry County. Berry owns and operates Lanes Landing Farm, a small, hilly piece of property on the Kentucky River. He embraced full-time farming as a career, using horses and organic methods to tend the land. Harmony with nature in general, and the farming tradition in particular, is a central theme of Berry's diverse work. As a poet, Berry gained popularity within the literary community. Collected Poems, 1957-1982, was particularly well-received. Novels and short stories set in Port William, a fictional town paralleling his real-life home town of Port Royal further established his literary reputation. The Memory of Old Jack, Berry's third novel, received Chicago's Friends of American Writers Award for 1975. Berry reached his broadest audience and attained his greatest popular acclaim through his essays. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture is a springboard for contemporary environmental concerns. In his life as well as his art, Berry has advocated a responsible, contextual relationship with individuals in a local, agrarian economy.
Published May 1, 2000 by Counterpoint Press. 124 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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We must learn to think about propriety in scale and design.” Despite Wilson’s “pretensions to iconoclasm,” Berry sees orthodoxy and the hand of politics: “for the putative ability to explain everything along with the denial of religion (or the appropriation of its appearances) is a property of po...

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Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed Poet, novelist, and ecologist Wendell Berry is the author of more than 30 books including Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community.

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