Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two English Catholics and Ecology

  • "While no Luddite, [Father Gerard Manley] Hopkins deplored the ravages of advanced industrialism, disconnecting as he believed it did humanity from its roots in the natural world, and depriving the human spirit of external correlatives for its expression," writes John Kelly of "one of the great voices of modern English poetry" — Hopkins saw God's role in fixing damaged environment. "For Hopkins, as for Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge before him in the Romantic tradition, the Industrial Revolution's often profligate disrespect for nature diminished both nature and the soul, because of the organic relationship he accepted between matter and spirit in the human person. In God's Grandeur he laments this fatal severance: '. . . the soil is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.'"

  • "[Family life must have been different] in the days when a family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the wood – they were not mistaken for there was in a sense real (not metaphorical) connections between them and the countryside," wrote J.R.R. Tolkein, quoted by Patrick J. Deneen — The Connection Between Food and Fairies. "What had been earth and air and later corn, and later still bread, really was in them. We of course who live on a standardized international diet…are artificial beings and have no connection (save in sentiment) with any place on earth. We are synthetic men, uprooted. The strength of the hills is not ours."

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    2 Comments:

    Blogger love the girls said...

    It's rather disappointing that Ludditism even needs to be disavowed in a story such as this because it signifies just how far we've progressed down the road Hopkins deplored.

    The quote by Tolkien is very nice. But your link doesn't go to the Front Porch Republic.

    btw. What a great name for a blog, but we've likewise progressed a long way from that society that developed and built porches because they served a useful purpose.

    1:17 AM  
    Blogger The Western Confucian said...

    Link fixed. Thanks. Good thoughts on Ludditism.

    6:47 AM  

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