THE DREAM OF THE EARTH by Thomas Berry

THE DREAM OF THE EARTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A wide-eyed, florid, repetitive declaration of past ecological sins and future New Age virtues. According to Berry, a theologian and historian of culture, the human species is about to experience something BIG: ""the most serious transformation of human-earth relations that has taken place at least since the classical civilizations were founded."" Our initiation into this vastly superior ""ecological age"" will require a ""mystique of the land"" in place of our current ""mystique of industry""; ""planetary socialism"" based on St. Thomas; a post-patriarchal, bioregional, ""biocractic"" society; and a way to harness science as a religious vehicle. Berry bases some of his apocalyptic argument on studies of species extinction and planetary pollution; some on ancient Indian, Chinese, and Native American teachings; and some on his love for historical schematization--not only do we have history divided into ""ages"" but also into ""mediations,"" with the ""earth-human"" supplanting the ""interhuman"" that usurped the ""divine-human."" The basic tack here is attractive-that we've mucked up the planet but things are gonna get better and here's some advice on how to do it. It's too bad that Berry shovels up naive black-and-white stereotypes (one can be boiled down to Indians good, Europeans bad), unabashed male-bashing, Pollyanna optimism, metronomic repetition and sloppy scholarship. Berry's title fits--too well: this reads like a pipe dream.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1988
ISBN: 1578051355
Publisher: Sierra Club--dist. by Random House