Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Manning, Ernest Nathan Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-01172008-144900 Title Ancient Greek and Ancient Hebrew Agrarianism: An Ecocritical Study of Hesiod's Works and Days and the Book of Proverbs Degree Master of Arts (M.A.) Department Comparative Literature (Interdepartmental Program) Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Greg Stone Committee Chair Alexandre Leupin Committee Member Bainard Cowan Committee Member Keywords
- Archaic Greece
- Judges Period
- Wendell Berry
Date of Defense 2007-10-26 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe subject of this thesis revolves around the “Western” view of nature and its social
origins. The author advances the subject through a comparison of two ancient texts:
Hesiod’s Works and Days and the Old Testament book of Proverbs. He concludes that
the Western view of nature gestated in agricultural societies of small-farmers who saw
themselves as being both part of and separate from the natural world. Their ability to
control nature being limited, they saw civilization as fulfilling a limited agricultural role
in the cosmos, as being different but part of and not controlling the whole.
In the last chapter, the author moves to discussing the forces at play within the Western
view of nature that have resulted in the environmental situation of the twenty-first
century. The author advances that a view of the physical realm as secondary, or degraded
vis-à-vis the realm of the intellect entered Christianity through Platonic philosophy, and
therefore is not original to the Western view of nature. Furthermore, he contends that the
original interaction of Western man with nature was through physical work, and that both
Platonic philosophy and modern science have influenced this original relationship.
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