Just over 25 years ago in a speech in Louisville, Kentucky, farmer, poet, critic, and theorist Wendell Berry sought to restore love, healing, wholeness, and health to the lexicon of modern American health care. It is perhaps less remarkable that he did this than that the words themselves had been lost to health care systems at all and replaced with words like efficiency, value, specialization-- words that have more to do with business management than with the tasks of healing and care to which health systems are dedicated. Our task in this series is to probe and understand the relevance of Berry’s thinking for health, healing, and healthcare 25 years on from this speech. As we face an America that spends increasing sums on health care with poorer outcomes, Berry’s thinking might just have something to say that can reorient us and help us all flourish.
A conversation with Mary Berry about growing up in Henry County, Kentucky, why "cradle to career" is a bad idea, the value of limits and, of course, her dad, Wendell Berry.
A conversation with Duke University professor and psychiatrist Warren Kinghorn about wholeness and mental illness, loneliness, and seeing patients as "inhabitants of stories" rather than "bearers of symptoms."
A conversation with Matt Finn about taking health is membership seriously in the design of hospitals, clinics, and other spaces where healthcare happens.
A conversation with Rev. Grace Hackney on eating together faithfully, health as the flourishing of community, how seasons help us learn restraint, and the pedagogy of the land.
A conversation with critic George Scialabba on alternative futures, the impoverishment of our lives by clickbait culture, and growing up at scale.
A conversation with Duke University professor, agrarian, and theologian Norman Wirzba on parenting, the erosion of attention, and relationships that cultivate the potential of every person.