Wirzba, Norman 1964–

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Wirzba, Norman 1964–

PERSONAL:

Born 1964; married; wife's name Gretchen; children: Emily, Anna, Benjamin, Luke. Education: University of Lethbridge, Alberta, B.A. (with distinction), 1986; Yale University Divinity School, M.A. (religion), 1988; Loyola University, Chicago, M.A. (philosophy), 1991, Ph.D., 1994. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, hiking, playing sports, and making things out of wood.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Georgetown, KY. Office—Department of Philosophy, Georgetown College, 309 Pawling Hall, Georgetown, KY 40324. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, and Loyola University, Chicago, IL, lecturer in philosophy, 1992-93; University of Saskatchewan, St. Thomas More College, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, assistant professor of philosophy, 1993-95; Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, associate professor, 1995-2006, professor of philosophy, 2006—, department chair, 1995—.

WRITINGS:

(Editor and author of introduction) Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, Counterpoint (Washington, DC), 2002.

(Editor) The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2003.

The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

(Editor, with Bruce Ellis Benson) The Phenomenology of Prayer, Fordham University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

(Editor, with Bruce Ellis Benson) Transforming Philosophy and Religion: Love's Wisdom, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2008.

Contributor to books, including Postmodern Philosophy and Christian Thought, Indiana University Press, 1999. Contributor to periodicals, including Christian Century, Christian Reflection, Orion, Christianity and Literature, and Living Pulpit.

SIDELIGHTS:

Norman Wirzba, a writer and educator, serves as a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. Wirzba's primary areas of interest include the history of philosophy, agrarianism, environmental philosophy and ethics, and Christian theology. He is the author and/or editor of several volumes on modern philosophy and religion, particularly agrarianism. Agrarianism is concerned with a return to agrarian values, the creation of local communities, and personal self-reliance. Wirzba is the editor of Wendell Berry's The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry and of the related volume The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land, a "collection of eminently quotable and passionately argued essays," as Ilse Heidmann called it in the Library Journal. In The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age, Wirzba offers an argument against those religious followers who claim that God, having given man dominion over the Earth, wants humanity to do whatever they wish to the planet, including use up its resources. Wirzba's argument states that the Bible actually stands in favor of environmentalism, and proceeds to illustrate how he came to his conclusion. Diane Bergant, in a review in Theological Studies, found that Wirzba's effort "rightly credits the new insights into the balance of nature with both a recognition of the harm done by the extreme form of anthropocentrism holding sway in the Western world, and a realization of the need to develop a new way of understanding the unique place of humankind within the broader ecological scheme."

Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight looks at the commonly held theories regarding what it means to keep the Sabbath, traditionally referred to as the day of rest. Wirzba suggests that, rather than resting, one should take the day as an opportunity to reflect and to separate one's mind from the chaos and turmoil of the typical week. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly opined: "This book will humble, fascinate, but most of all challenge spiritual seekers to pursue the fullness of Sabbath."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

America, September 30, 2002, Stephen Bede Scharper, "Rooted in Place," p. 27.

Christian Century, December 27, 2003, Bill McKibben, "Food Fight: Local Farming vs. Agribusiness," p. 20; February 6, 2007, Arthur Paul Boers, review of Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight, p. 42.

Dallas Morning News, April 18, 2007, "Review of Religious Books and a Web Site."

Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Ilse Heidmann, review of The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, p. 125; August, 2003, Ilse Heidmann, review of The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land, p. 118.

Modern Age, summer, 2003, Jeremy Beer, "An Alternative Conservative."

Nation, July 1, 2002, Eric Zencey, "A Whole Earth Catalogue," p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, September 8, 2003, review of The Art of the Commonplace, p. 13; June 12, 2006, review of Living the Sabbath, p. 46.

Sojourners Magazine, April, 2007, "Real Re-creation," p. 52.

Theological Studies, September, 2005, Dianne Bergant, review of The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age, p. 702.

Tikkun, September 1, 2004, Roger S. Gottlieb, "Religion and Ecology," p. 77.

ONLINE

Baptist Seminary of Kentucky Web site,http://www.bsky.org/ (October 10, 2007), author profile.

Camping Is Not Optional Web site,http://www.campingisnotoptional.com/ (October 10, 2007), author profile.

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