Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture

Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture

Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture

Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture

Synopsis

Visionary quests to return to the Garden of Eden have shaped Western culture from Columbus' voyages to today's tropical island retreats. Few narratives are so powerful - and, as Carolyn Merchant shows, so misguided and destructive - as the dream of recapturing a lost paradise. A sweeping account of these quixotic endeavors by one of America's leading environmentalists, Reinventing Eden traces the idea of rebuilding the primeval garden from its origins to its latest incarnations in shopping malls, theme parks and gated communities.

Excerpt

LIFE
LIKE A SPIDER
SPINS ITS WEB
IN CYCLICAL MELODIES
TELLING ENIGMATIC, SACRED TALES
To DEAF, DUMB, BLIND ME.

-Carolyn Merchant, 1998

A lush garden. Pathways wander invitingly among rolling lawns and fragrant flowers. Lilies, roses, and herbs send forth a sweet ambrosia. The air smells continuously fresh. Peacocks strut among the trees in the near distance and doves make their distinctive three-note coo. A cottontail, appearing unconcerned, nibbles at grass nearby, while lambs suckle at their mother's teat. Nearly hidden among the taller and more distant cedars, a doe and fawn munch at the undergrowth. A small grove of fig trees can be glimpsed down a side path. A couple strolls arm in arm toward a fig grove near the middle of the garden, where a waterfall gushes over rocks fed by a clear bubbling stream. At the garden's very center are two trees known simply as the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Where is this Eden? It is not in the Mesopotamian lands of the pre-Christian era. It is the new downtown square on the promenade in

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.