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Virtues of RenewalWendell Berry's Sustainable Forms$
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Jeffrey Bilbro

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813176406

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813176406.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Sustaining Virtuous Forms

Sustaining Virtuous Forms

(p.1) Introduction Sustaining Virtuous Forms
Virtues of Renewal

Jeffrey Bilbro

University Press of Kentucky

The introduction analyzes the different forms, values, and virtues that are embedded in an industrial economy and contrasts them with those that characterize a sustainable economy. Berry’s vision critiques the industrial grammar of specialization, competition, and capital that underlies our contemporary way of life, shaping areas as disparate as agriculture, medicine, education, science, architecture, aesthetics, and energy. Though such an approach has proven remarkably effective in some ways, particularly in its ability to solve isolated problems, Berry argues that these industrial forms of life contribute to disease, are vulnerable to disruption, and cause lasting damage to their environments. Instead, Berry challenges us to imagine more harmonious, formally complex solutions to our problems, and his standard for lasting, sustainable solutions is health. Through its formal order, health accounts for the one fundamental reality that an industrial logic seeks to ignore or conquer—death. Sustainable economies practice virtues of renewal and return, cultivating death so that it serves life in ways that are analogous to the organic fertility cycle. In this way, such economies enable their members to practice resurrection.

Keywords:   industrial economy, sustainable economy, death, health, renewal

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