Culture Collapse Disorder
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Culture Collapse Disorder
Culture Collapse Disorder
Culture Collapse Disorder: The loss & destruction of home (places & planet) due to human impact and our modern consumer mindset
Curated by Bonnie Bright
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Review of Thomas Berry's "The Great Work"

Review of Thomas Berry's "The Great Work" | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

In this review essay, Thomas Berry's The Great Work is contextualized within Berry's overarching cosmological project. Special attention is paid to Berry's critique of economic corporations, as well as his interpretation of globalization and his assessment of an alleged decline of the nation state, claims that run counter to certain contemporary social scientific research offering more complex depictions of such phenomena. The critique of democracy in Berry's work, and its potential implications, is also critically addressed.

 

"What happens to the outer world happens to the inner world," Berry avers. "If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur than the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished" (p. 200).

 

Our inner being will die if we continue to transform natural beauty into the soul-deadening, concrete-laden, box-store landscapes of a consumer society. "Our quest for wonderworld," Berry tersely observes, "is creating a waste-world" (p. 68). "Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of the clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human" (p. 200).

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Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work

Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

In The Great Work Thomas Berry invites a deep reflection on our current ecological and cultural predicament. The move through this era of enormous cultural transition, from a period of human devastation of the Earth to—potentially—a period of benign presence, is the ‘great work’ that we must undertake if we are to fulfil the historical exigencies of our time.

 

Thomas Berry, cultural historian, is a remarkable and influential thinker on the complexities of this era and the requirements of a viable future. Berry, a Catholic priest, trained in the classical traditions of theology, immersed himself in a comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon of religion, and in particular Eastern religions. He taught Eastern religions at several U.S. universities prior to founding the PhD program in The Histories of Religions at Fordham, from 1966-1979. Berry has written several books on Eastern Religions, such as Buddhism and The Religions of India,1 and during the past few decades has addressed his work to the magnitude of the crisis facing Western civilization.

 

To situate the essays within The Great Work as well as the responses to the book, it may be beneficial to know some of the key influences that have shaped Berry’s perspectives. Over the course of a lifetime, Berry has developed a deep appreciation for the intense and specific human experiences that give rise to distinct religious traditions and expressions. He could see that particular and penetrating  (Click title to read the full article)

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