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Drs. Baker and Bilbro make their case for reading Berry

A black and white portrait of Wendell Berry.

Dr. Jack Baker and Dr. Jeff Bilbro, associate professors of English at Spring Arbor University, have carved for themselves a particular scholastic niche over the last few years: the writing of Wendell Berry. Their shared interest in Berry’s works has resulted in the authorship and publication of “Wendell Berry and Higher Education: Cultivating Virtues of Place.” The two also serve as editors of the forthcoming collection of essays, “Telling the Stories Right: Wendell Berry’s Imagination of Port William.”

Their latest endeavor is a piece recently published on Titled “The Rooted Faith in Wendell Berry’s Fiction,” their essay outlines the ways in which Berry’s stories and characters embody an ecclesiology of place, community, tradition and redemption. Through Berry’s fiction, they argue, we are given models of life and living that counter our culture of consumerism, disposability and self-centeredness. In their words, “Both Berry’s writings and his life challenge Christians to be rooted, fruit-bearing members of their communities… These stories act as parables, seeding our imaginations to consider redemptive ways of inhabiting our neighborhoods.”

You can read their piece here.