Convergence: Cities, Spirituality And The Future Of Civilization
by M.L. Perry
A wide-ranging exploration of how the elements of an ever-advancing civilization might unfold in the life of a city and the planet in the coming decades. Using as guiding principles some of the verses of Bahá’u’lláh, the author looks at how spirituality and the developing science of sustainability might converge to produce communities that are moderate, local but interconnected globally, technologically- and spiritually-based, progressive and sustainable, and great places to live.
What makes a great place to live?
The human race has yet to build a habitat where people can grow best, where all children receive an excellent education and health care, understand the natural environment, eat locally-grown delicious food, walk safely in their neighbourhoods, breathe pure air, feel the warmth of a united community life, have a world-embracing vision, serve others selflessly, and develop fully their intellectual, artistic and spiritual capacities. We know the environmental needs of dolphins, mountain lions and bees, the ideal habitats of nearly all flora and fauna. What, though, is the ideal habitat for human beings?
M. L. Perry draws on the experience, knowledge, information, wisdom and vision of people working with and concerned about human habitat – sociologists, artists, scientists, indigenous peoples, thinkers, practitioners, academics, historians – to explore this question.
With the planet at a critical juncture in its history – the perfect storm of climate change, political upheaval, economic uncertainty, the rise of racism and xenophobia, and a lack of answers to profound crises of poverty, pestilence and conflict – Perry reflects on an intriguing statement made by a 19th century figure, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh: that humanity has been 'created to carry forward an ever‑advancing civilization'.
Perry's is a wide‑ranging and thought-provoking consideration of how the elements of an ever‑advancing civilization might unfold in the life of cities and the planet in the coming decades. He looks at how spirituality and the developing science of sustainability might converge to produce communities that are moderate and beautiful, local but interconnected globally and technologically, spiritually based, progressive, sustainable – and great places to live.
M.L. Perry earned a BA in music and physics at Haverford College and a PhD in the history of culture at the University of Chicago. He teaches history and cultural studies at United International College in Zhuhai, China.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Note from the Publisher
1 The Near Garden
2 The Museum
3 Divergence: Being Aliens on Our Own Planet
5 Convergence: Metamorphosis and Flight
6 Spiritual Cities
7 The Distant Garden
Appendix: Historical Texts on Convergence
References and Notes
23.4 x 15.6 cm (9.75 x 6.25 in)
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