At the Berry Center’s celebration of the 35th anniversary of The Unsettling of America, held last April, Bill Moyers interviewed Wendell Berry before the assembled conference participants. That interview will be available on billmoyers.com starting October 4th. Readers of this space are highly encouraged to view it. Check your local PBS listings to see if it’s available there.

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Jeffrey Polet
Jeffrey Polet grew up in an immigrant household in the immigrant town of Holland MI. After twenty years of academic wandering he returned to Holland and now teaches political science at Hope College, where he also grudgingly serves as chair of the department, having unsuccessfully evaded all requests. In the interim, he continues to nurture quirky beliefs: Division III basketball is both athletically and morally superior to Division I; the Hope/Calvin rivalry is the greatest in sports; the lecture is still the best form of classroom instruction; never buy a car with less than 100,000 miles on it; putts will still lip out in heaven; bears are the incarnation of evil; Athens actually has something to do with Jerusalem; and Tombstone is a cinematic classic. His academic work has mirrored his peripatetic career. Originally trained at the Catholic University of America in German philosophy and hermeneutical theory, he has since gravitated to American Political Thought. He still occasionally writes about European thinkers such as Michel Foucault or the great Max Weber, but mostly is interested in the relationship between theological reflection and political formation in the American context. In the process of working on a book on John Marshall for The Johns Hopkins University Press, he became more sensitive to the ways in which centralized decision-making undid local communities and autonomy. He has also written on figures such as William James and the unjustly neglected Swedish novelist Paer Lagerkvist. A knee injury and arthritis eliminated daily basketball playing, and he now spends his excess energy annoying his saintly wife and their three children, two of whom are off to college. Expressions of sympathy for the one who remains can be posted in the comments section. He doesn’t care too much for movies, but thinks opera is indeed the Gesamtkuntswerk, that the music of Gustav Mahler is as close as human beings get to expressing the ineffable, that God listens to Mozart in his spare time, and that Bach is history’s greatest genius.

3 COMMENTS

  1. John Gorentz,

    +1, “thumbs up”, “like” or whatever social media designation applies. I don’t see how people can’t see through his “faux concerned wise man” pose. He was Chuck Colson pre-conversion – without the subsequent conversion, apologies (not to mention jail time) and lifetime of service to prisoners and their families. Thirty years of furrowed brow PBS “oh so serious” programming doesn’t make one deep, wise or right.

  2. The man’s parents named him Billy Don Moyers, but he changed it legally to Bill. Says it all, doesn’t it?

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