Keynote lecture on Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America

Presentation Date


Conference Name

Christ College SYMPOSIUM

Conference Location

Honors College, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana


Each year Christ College students, faculty, and staff read together a book chosen to engage the community in thoughtful conversation. The reading for 2008-09 is The Unsettling of America (Sierra Club Books, 1977) by novelist, poet, farmer, and social critic Wendell Berry. In this book, Berry provides an extended analysis of the ways in which culture and agriculture reflect and influence one another, both for good and for ill. In contemporary America, he argues, our alienation from the land both mirrors and reinforces our alienation from other human beings. True human flourishing, in contrast, involves learning to care for one another and for the earth beneath our feet. Professors Steven Bouma-Prediger, director of the environmental studies program and professor of religion at Hope College and Curtis Gruenler, Department of English, Hope College, will co-lecture on Berry’s richly developed call for a Christian doctrine and practice of environmental stewardship.

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