The best stories in the volume offer Cather-esque explorations of the links between place and people. The stories are remarkable for their dense layers, for their social, psychological, and emotional intricacies.
When Petrarch uses Augustine to call himself out for being bound and dragged down by the “chains of love and glory,” students are forced to consider what it is they are pursuing, in college and in life.
In an age of knee-jerk innovation, the warnings articulated by Emerson and Dewey are more needed than ever. They advocated for applied knowledge, but they also insisted such technology must serve human ends.
There is much wisdom contained in English Pastoral for suffering churches. If the last fifty years have shown that innovation and modernization aren’t the solution to our ill-health, they have also made a nostalgic return to yesteryear an impossibility.