The Dream of the Earth

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9781619025325 | Paperback 6 x 9 | 272 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

This landmark work, first published by Sierra Club Books in 1988, has established itself as a foundational volume in the ecological canon. In it, noted cultural historian Thomas Berry provides nothing less than a new intellectual–ethical framework for the human community by positing planetary well–being as the measure of all human activity.

Drawing on the wisdom of Western philosophy, Asian thought, and Native American traditions, as well as contemporary physics and evolutionary biology, Berry offers a new perspective that recasts our understanding of science, technology, politics, religion, ecology, and education. He shows us why it is important for us to respond to the Earth’s need for planetary renewal, and what we must do to break free of the “technological trance” that drives a misguided dream of progress. Only then, he suggests, can we foster mutually enhancing human–Earth relationships that can heal our traumatized global biosystem.

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Praise For This Book

Praise for The Dream of the Earth

"This first volume in a new series, the Sierra Club Nature and Natural Philosophy Library, explores human–earth relations and seeks a new, non–anthropocentric approach to the natural world. According to cultural historian Berry, our immediate danger is not nuclear war but industrial plundering; our entire society, he argues, is trapped in a closed cycle of production and consumption. Berry points out that our perception of the earth is the product of cultural conditioning, and that most of us fail to think of ourselves as a species but rather as national, ethnic, religious or economic groups. Describing education as "a process of cultural coding somewhat parallel to genetic coding," he proposes a curriculum based on awareness of the earth. He discusses "patriarchy" as a new interpretation of Western historical development, naming four patriachies that have controlled Western history, becoming progressively destructive: the classical empires, the ecclesiastical establishment, the nation–state and the modern corporation. We must reject partial solutions and embrace profound changes toward a "biocracy" that will heal the earth, urges the author who defines problems and causes with eloquence. " – Publishers Weekly

"With this classic book, Thomas Berry broke crucial new ground in the human relationship with the planet. Its ripples will spread for generations to come."—Bill McKibben, author of Hope, Human and Wild

"The Dream of the Earth is a landmark. There is no wiser or more hopeful guide through the years ahead."—David Orr, counselor to the President, Oberlin College

"Thomas Berry brings us into the presence of the entire cosmic order, of body–earth–body, and with his hand on the pulse—on ours and on what he calls ‘the basic structure and functioning of the Earth,' we re–find the deep interior, the ‘Everywhere'." —Gretel Ehrlich, author of Facing the Wave

"....a profoundly important and contemplative vision of how we should relate to this privileged planet which nurtured the rise of civilization."—Thomas E. Lovejoy, Blue Planet Prize Laureate 2012

"Thomas Berry is an exemplar in a tradition that includes a diverse group of spiritually radiant individuals (Gandhi, the monk Thomas Merton, the Lakota elder Black Elk), visionaries (Jacques Ellul, Terry Tempest Williams, Rachel Carson), and writers (Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Rebecca Solnit, Loren Eiseley). For these people the pressing issue has always been the preservation of an enduring community. Berry is a superb guide on the road that leads us back to the tradition of wisdom keepers, the ones who keep us awake." —Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams

Praise for Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as a Sacred Community

"The wisdom of Thomas Berry is a mountain stream – clear, brilliant, revealing, bracing and sustaining, flowing from deep time and the essential Earth. In these bewildering years, I thirst for Thomas Berry's insights. I drink him in great gulps. I give thanks for the beautiful, inspiring Evening Thoughts, which collects his wisdom and offers it in cupped hands."—Kathleen Dean Moore, author, Riverwalking and coeditor, Moral Ground

"In darkening times Thomas Berry announces the dawn of a new Earth–centered consciousness grounded in a larger view of humankind and a deeper sense of the sacred. Evening Thoughts is a very great gift from a very wise man."—David Orr, counselor to the President, Oberlin College

"If we listen deeply to Thomas Berry's persistent articulation of the voice of the Earth, we can begin to learn to join the Earth Community as the authentic way of fully embodying our humanity."—Tu Weiming, Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Peking University

"One of the great thinkers of our time, Berry offers a vision of intimacy with the Earth as our way to intimacy with each other. This is a marvelous continuation of the Berry canon."—James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

"As always, the voice of Thomas Berry manages to be simultaneously calm, sweeping, insistent, particular. It's a voice we badly need to keep hearing."—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature