Wendell Berry and The Nation
Wendell Berry cited in Cronon/Pollan conversation

Wendell Berry and C. S. Lewis

The best narrative illustration of this characteristic of Lewis’s thought is That Hideous Strength. There is a strong anti-industrial bent to the novel, as there is in most of Lewis’s fiction, but the criticism Lewis is making turns less on technology itself and more on the understanding of technology’s place in creation. Lewis is rejecting the authoritative role that science is claiming for itself and the fruit of that authority. He is criticizing the fact that scientists refuse to understand their discipline as one performed by creatures.

This sort of thought and argumentation sets the table beautifully for Berry. Berry’s thought is similarly dependent upon the idea that man is a creature living within the healthy limitations set by a benevolent creator. Like Lewis, Berry sees the industrial project as being marked by man’s lust for a power he was never meant to possess. Accepting the limits inherent in creation is pivotal, because acknowledging our finite creatureliness allows us to most fully and healthily revel in the goodness of God’s world. This is the whole point Berry is making in his marvelous work Life is a Miracle. This book is Berry’s response to E.O. Wilson’s Consilience, a book in which Wilson argues that science ought to function as the unifying branch of knowledge under which all others are subsumed.

via fare-forward.com


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