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One author with whom I have become somewhat acquainted with in recent years is the Kentucky farmer, Wendell Berry. Since this serendipitous discovery, his work has been a continual source of encouragement, as well as inspiration. I have managed to read through a number of his ‘Port William’ novels, which I would wholeheartedly recommend (beginning with Jayber Crow).

His essays and poetry are for the most part, as yet, unexplored by me – though what I have read has been excellent.

What strikes me as so particular about Berry is not his penchant for nostalgia, (which I think is overstated by his critics – I think he is a very realistic thinker) but his integral vision of reality – from the mundane prosaic things of where our food comes from, through to the inner-relationality of persons with each other and with God.

This vision of reality, (onto-logic) which so grounds Berry’s thought is perhaps nowhere better expressed than this pithy quote, taken from an essay I happened upon recently.

‘I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.’[1]

 

[1] Wendell Berry, The Art of the Common-Place: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, ed. N. Wirzba (Berkley: Counterpoint, 2002).