ragan sutterfield - cultivating reality [excerpt]

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  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    Cutivating Raity

    Hw th Si Might Sav Us

    Ragan Suttrfi

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]



    How the Sol Mght Save U

    Copyrght 2013 Raga Suttereld. All rght reerved. Except or re

    quotato crtcal pulcato or revew, o part o th ook may

    e reproduced ay maer wthout pror wrtte permo rom the

    pulher. Wrte: Permo, Wp ad Stock Pulher, 199 W. 8th Ave.,

    Sute 3, Eugee, OR 97401.

    Cacade Book

    A Imprt o Wp ad Stock Pulher

    199 W. 8th Ave., Sute 3

    Eugee, OR 97401


    isbn 13: 978-1-59752-656-2

    Cataloging-in-Publication data:

    Raga Suttereld.

    Cultvatg realty : how the ol mght ave u / Raga Suttereld.

    v + 122 p.; 23 cmIclude lographcal reerece.

    isbn 13: 978-1-59752-656-2

    1. AgrcultureUted State. 2. AgrcultureSocal apect. 3. Agrcul-tureRelgou apectChrtaty. I. tle.

    HD1761 .S89 2013

    Mauactured the USA.

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    ab f Cntnts

    1 Te Soterology o Sol | 1

    2 Depedet, Lmted Creature | 19

    3 Commowealth | 33

    4 A Body o Earth | 48

    5 No Small World | 65

    6 Drt me | 80

    7 Humlty: Te Recovery o Fear | 94

    Eplogue | 115

    Ackowledgemet | 117

    Blography | 119

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]




    h Strigy f Si

    Tr ar tw siritua angrs in nt wning a farm. Onis th angr f susing that brakfast cms frm thgrcry an th thr that hat cms frm th furnac.

    Aldo Leopold

    I look orward to Feruary ecaue t that moth, wth the

    day tll hort ad cold, that the hope o prg eg. We tart

    plat eed tray, proutg ad urturg them wdow ll

    ad greehoue, gettg ready or the late day o March ad early

    Aprl whe the Arkaa garde eao eg wth orce. It

    Feruary that I alo eg to work the ol, to add compot ad ma-ure, ad urture the groud that eceary or ay good garde-

    g. Beeath the ol, llo o mcroe take the utret I add

    ad uld whole etwork ad ytem o le. It thee mcroe

    that wll delver much eeded troge to the root o the plat; t

    th lvg ol that the egg o ay good growth. We call

    th ol humu ad t coected to the very ature o ourelve

    a huma, reectg the Herew dea that adam (humakd) waormed rom the adamah (humu). We are eetally humu-e-

    gpeople who ga our le rom ad are completely depedet

    upo drt. T a truth we ca dey oly at our perl.

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    Cultivating Reality


    But what doe th mea or Chrta ad what doe t mea

    or the church? How are we to addre th realty our athropol-

    ogy that alway modeled o the example ad pero o Chrt?

    Here I wat to argue why a thg called agrarama hat o

    md ormed through the udertadg that our lve are depe-

    det upo the ol mportat or the church, partcularly th

    age ad tme. I wat to how that the church eed agraram to

    help t recall ad artculate t mplct athropology ad ecology.

    T ot a ook where we wll explore the pecc thkg

    o partcular agrara, ce there are already may good ook

    that have doe o, ut rather th a explorato o ome com-mo agrara theme wth a eye to how thoe theme mght peak

    to Chrta commute ad ther memer. We eg wth the

    ac: realty.

    Not log ago, I had a coverato, y old ahoed had-

    wrtte letter, wth my red Fred Baho. Fred a armer, wrter,

    ad ometme preacher. Fred eleve that armg a eetal

    huma practce ad vocato, perhap our mot udametal work.What cocered Fred th partcular letter wa how to expre to

    Chrta the mportace o the agrara hat o mdthe crt-

    cal ature o queto o armg, ood, ad tale to our Chrta

    le. I thought a good deal aout Fred cocer ad t occurred to

    me that what agraram really aout lvg the trutht

    realm at t et. Te call to Chrta to lear rom agrar-

    a the a call to Chrta to orm a hat o md that wll

    deepe our ee o realty. Ad th eetally what alvatoa delverace rom ale realte to ull realty a emoded

    Chrt. Agraram ca help Chrta emrace th alvato. A

    Fred wrote, I thk the agrara le, grouded a t realty,

    capale o rgg people out o Baylo ad trag them to lve

    the New Jerualem.

    T alvc potetal o agraram may eem a old clam.

    Te church aer all ha log ee the alvato uehowca agraram wth t atteto to drt ad garde ad lvetock

    help ave the church? A Fred dcated, t t very groudg,

    t atteto to thee ac, phycal realte o le that agraram

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    Te Soteriology of Soil


    ca help call u out o Baylo ad tra u to lve the New


    Te church ha lved a cotat truggle throughout t h-

    tory to ecape rom the grouded realte o drt. Te prtual

    le ha ecome t doma ad whether explctly tated or ot,

    alvato ha come to mea the delverace o oul ad ot ode,

    pero ot plaet. We have come to gore the God who prome

    the delverace o a world ad hope or the ato, the God who

    ave a people whoe work to delver the creato that watg

    eager logg or thee people to emrace ther call.

    Whe we orget that God wat to ave creato, ad we deyour vocato to jo God th work, we are rought to ale

    realtepowerul dolatre that lead u away rom eeg the

    truth o ourelve, God, ad the creato o whch we are mem-

    er. We eed cocrete practce that wll cultvate our alty to

    lve realty, practce that wll eale u to tad o realty rm

    groud rather tha evetually crah to t hard edge. Agraram

    mply a ame or hat o md ad ody that call u to themot gcat terecto o our le ad the le o the whole o

    creatothe tale at whch we eat.

    Te realty o the tale ha ee a chagg oe, oe marked

    y lluo ad dolatre that the church ha ar too oe doe

    lttle to uvel, owg our head at the golde arche rather tha

    the golde cal. Rather tha the tale eg a place where we eat the

    audace God ha provded u through the careul maagemet

    ad cultvato o creato, our tale are ow lled wth ood thatare wreakg havoc o our ode ad the creato. Tee ood are

    audat, ut ther audace depedet o a mg o u-

    tret rom the ol, the aue o amal, ad the explotato o

    people. Agrara call th orm o ale audace dutralm,

    a orm o ecoomy that the atoym o a ecoomy aed o

    cra ad cultvato.

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    Cultivating Reality


    An Economy of Icons or an Economy of Idols?

    I decrg the dutral ecoomy a oppoed to the agrara

    oe, t mght e helpul to orrow the mage o dol ad corom the phloopher Jea-Luc Maro. A Bruce Beo de-

    cre Maro cocept o dol ad co, the dol omethg

    that merely reect our gaze, [whle] the co pot our ght to

    omethg eyod t ad thu to omethg eyod ourelve

    that we caot mater.1 Te dutral ecoomy a ecoomy

    o the dol. It reect the gaze o our ale udertadg, twted

    through dordered dere ad addcto. Value th ecoomy dctated through upply ad demad, oth ealy mapulated

    through property ytem ad advertg. T the ecoomy o

    coumerm, drve y demad whatever thoe demad are. Te

    agrara ecoomy o the other had a ecoomy o the co. It

    a ecoomy where value receved rather tha made; t aolute

    meaure alway teuou. A ecoomy o the co ee the world a

    a place o audace rather tha carcty ad t doe ot propoe to

    ame every good wth t.

    Perhap the et agrara tatemet o the ecoome o the

    dol ad the co Wedell Berry eay, wo Ecoome. Berry

    decre a coverato he had wth ellow agrara We Jacko

    aout a etter way to determe value tha that oered y the moey

    ecoomy. Berry propoed that a ecoomy aed o a meaure o

    eergy would e preerale, ut Jacko dagreed, ayg that uch

    a meaure tll ot road eough. Te what kd o ecoomywoulde compreheve eough? Berry aked. Jacko hetated

    a momet, ad the grg, ad, Te Kgdom o God.2

    Berry goe o to agree wth Jacko, ecaue the kgdom

    o God doe properly ame a ecoomy whoe cale o value

    compreheve eough to t wth realty. Te thg that troule

    u aout the dutral ecoomy, wrte Berry, exactly that t

    ot compreheve eough, that moreover, t ted to detroy whatt doe ot comprehed, ad that t dependentupo much that t

    doe ot comprehed. Tee tatemet are exactly the tatemet

    1. Beo, Jea-Luc Maro, 22.

    2. Berry, Home Economics, 54.

  • 7/30/2019 Ragan Sutterfield - Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]


    Te Soteriology of Soil


    we could make o a dolthe prolem o a dol, whether made o

    cocrete or cocept, that t ot compreheve eough, that t

    lmt the dve to our outle ad udertadg, ad yet a dol

    alo depedet upo what we caot udertadt ale to

    mata t preteo toward dvty ecaue o the orrowed

    lght that t mrror ad mmc.

    Te awer to the dutral ecoomy, wrte Berry, a

    ecoomy that doe ot leave aythg out, ad we ca ay wth-

    out preumg too much that the rt prcple o the Kgdom o

    God that t clude everythg; t, the all o every parrow

    a gcat evet.3 Lke a co, whoe mage caot cotawhat repreeted, the agrara ecoomy wth the Kgdom o

    God mut operate wth a ecoomy, whch cludg everythg,

    ca ever kow ether all the creature . . . or the whole patter or

    order.4 Our poto mut e oe o care ad cauto, jut a a good

    Chrta mut e guded y a ear o the Lord. T ear, to or-

    row a metaphor rom Dalla Wllard, ot ecaue God mea,

    ut ecaue God dagerou.


    God th ee lke electrc-tyelectrcty ot malcou, ut t dagerouwoe to the oe

    who take t lghtly. It the ame wth


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