The Great Work: Our Way into the Future

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9780609605257: The Great Work: Our Way into the Future
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One of the most eminent cultural historians of our time presents the culmination of his ideas and calls for us to experience creation as a source of wonder and delight rather than a commodity for our personal use.

Thomas Berry has written and lectured extensively on technological civilization and the need for us to move from being a disrupting force on this earth to a benign presence. This transition is the Great Work of which he speaks. It is at the same time the most necessary and most ennobling work we will ever undertake. Berry's message is not one of doom but of hope. He calls upon all aspects of society to remember their 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 at this determining moment in history 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.

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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

From the Publisher:

As most of you know, Thomas Berry is the grandfather of the Deep Ecology movement and is known variously as a geologian or cosmologist. It is certainly an honor to publish this extraordinary document which is at the same time the summation of his life's work and a blueprint for our own. Berry's language and thinking are on a grand scale and it is only by sharing in his vision that we will be able to take advantage of this moment of grace and find a way to ensure the future of the planet.

-- Toinette Lippe, editorial director of Bell Tower

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ISBN 10:  0609804995 ISBN 13:  9780609804995
Publisher: Broadway Books, 2000
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