Sch-Dream of Earth

Thomas Berry, Author
Thomas Berry, Author Random House (NY) $18.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-87156-737-6
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
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. (October)
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