By Ellen F. Davis
This publication examines the theology and ethics of land use, in particular the practices of contemporary industrialized agriculture, in gentle of severe biblical exegesis. 9 interrelated essays discover the biblical writers' pervasive quandary for the care of arable land opposed to the history of the geography, social constructions, and non secular considered old Israel. This process always brings out missed facets of texts, either poetry and prose, which are imperative to Jewish and Christian traditions. instead of looking ideas from the previous, Davis creates a talk among old texts and modern agrarian writers; hence she presents a clean viewpoint from which to view the damaging practices and assumptions that now dominate the worldwide meals economic system. The biblical exegesis is wide-ranging and complex; the language is literate and obtainable to a large viewers.
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Extra resources for Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
10 Neither Lopez nor Leopold expresses a religious sensibility, and certainly not a biblical one. ”12 Yet their understanding that humans are bound to the earth in an integrity that is biological, moral, and “spiritual,” as well as political and economic, is not so alien to the biblical worldview as they themselves might suppose. Evidence of such an awareness appears with particular density in the poetic writings of the Bible. Psalm 85, a liturgical poem that modern readers might otherwise take to be merely fanciful, offers an example: You showed favor, YHWH, to your land; you turned the fortune of Jacob.
31 They look backward, noting both failures and successes, so as to imagine new possibilities better than those offered by the dominant culture of the age, be it theirs or ours. Maybe it is because they self-consciously occupy the liminal space between past and future that these “seers,” both ancient and modern, so often express their visions in the form of poetry. For poetry may be, along with music, the most direct means for touching the shared memory of a people. As Wendell Berry has observed: “A poem .
24 The tragic imagination reaches back into memory, in order to recall the beloved community to itself. ”25 Surely biblical scholars, theologians, teachers, and preachers have a special role to play in the work of cultural re-membering, because we live in close contact with the most powerful expressions of the tragic imagination ever to be captured in words. But to sharpen our insight, we must depend in part on the work of contemporary writers – speaking for myself, of farmers, poets, a historian who is sensitive to geography (J.