book review: Korten’s “Great Turning”


Richard Moore

From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: "'Richard Moore'" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FW: [Bioreg] The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 19:32:09 -0700
Organization: Institute  for Cultural Ecology

---<forwarded message>---
From: •••@••.••• [mailto:•••@••.•••] On 
Behalf Of Gene and Joyce Marshall
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2006 11:50 AM
To: Joyce and Gene Marshall
Subject: [Bioreg] The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

Dear Friends,

I have just  finished reading David C. Korten's latest book, The 
Great Turning: from Empire to Earth Community.  If there is one book 
that needs to be read by every awakening adult, college student, and 
high school senior, this is it.  It reviews the glories and horrors 
of U.S. History.  It reviews the horrors of the wrong turn for Empire 
that was made 5000 years ago.  It show us the presence of hundreds of 
millions of people who are already turning away form the sorrows of 
Empire toward a vastly new sort of society that can take its place. 
 It reveals how the current neocon polices of the Bush Administration 
are not new in U.S. history, but rather a carrying of these themes to 
their furthest and most destructive extremities.  For those with eyes 
to see, this administration is discrediting these obsolete patterns. 
The plutocratic Radical Right and the religious Radical Right have 
combined together in a futile attempt to preserve the social mode of 
Empire.  It is they, not we cultural and religious creatives, who are 
on the defensive.  A confident persistent offensive on our part can 
overcome this backlash and bring about a viable future for humankind. 
 This is the hopeful message of this book.

Decades ago Kenneth Boulding spoke of the end of civilization and the 
beginning of post-civilization. He spoke of this turning as the most 
radical social shift since the shift from the tribal to the 
civilization mode of social organization.  Korten has updated this 
vision.  He has filled in details from the work of hundreds of people 
who have pioneered aspects of this turning for decades, indeed 

Those of us who have done our homework in these arenas will find much 
of this book familiar, but Korten has pulled it all together in an 
inclusive overview, filled it in with detailed examples, and 
communicated it all to this generation with an illuminating prose. 
 Every tenth page has a quote that you might post on your 
refrigerator door.

I have some disagreements with Korten in the religion arena, but they 
do not undermine my overall appreciation for the thrust of this book. 
 It is gratifying to me that he sees the arena of religion as a 
primary cultural arena along with family, education, and media. 
 Korten's  theology, like that of so many who are rejecting the 
supernaturalism of the past, tends to water down religion to 
statements of human-made rational meaning.  I feel called to assist 
my era to see that good religion is a relationship with That  Final 
 Mystery that never makes sense, but only makes Awe.  Nevertheless, 
as I attempt to live in these times from the awareness of Awe and 
Wonder, I find myself joining Korten in his basic vision of what we 
must accomplish in the realm  of social reorganization.  I count him 
one of the "prophets"  of our times.

Go ahead; add this book to your library, and get it read this year. 
 We need it for both 2006 and 2008.

For  Earth,

Gene Marshall

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