Wendell Berry and Religion, Heaven’s Earthly Life.

Joel James Shuman & L. Roger Owens, editors

 University of Kentucky Press, 2009

Reviewed by Bob Webber, CBWC’s Director of Ministry

Wendell Berry and Religion

This compilation of essays is not by Wendell Berry. Wendell Berry and Religion, Heaven’s Earthly Life is written by a range of authors and their essays point out how Wendell Berry’s Christianity as found in his writing has influenced them.

Two essays in particular stand out to me.

“And the Land I will remember” is written by Old Testament scholar Ellen F. Davis, and tells how Wendell’s understanding of land has shaped her reading of scripture.  “Proper Work: Wendell Berry and the Practice of Ministry.” by Kyle Childress was the first essay that drew me to Wendell Berry because it linked the names Eugene Peterson and Wendell Berry together. I had only heard about Eugene through church circles and about Wendell only through farm circles, and suddenly they were connected and it intrigued me.  I am happy to have Kyle’s good essay now in a book where I can return to it.

The essays range from a look at what a Christian University should look like, to an essay comparing the Pill to DDT and “The Dark Night of the Soil: an agrarian approach to Mystical Life. Lots to think about and not all to agree with!