As I inch along toward my masters degree, I’m taking a class this summer called “Rural Community and Moral Concerns.”
In addition to the lectures, the class (which is limited to 15 students) will visit churchs in Appalachian Kentucky, a “modern” cattle production operation, the Underground Railroad Museum, a Native American religious site, two small organic farms, the Woodford bourbon production facility, a thoroughbred horse farm, a coal mine, a coal mining museum, a dirt track and a Shaker village.
And here’s some of the required reading:
Jeff Biggers, The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to America.
Paul Conkin, A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929.
Kevin Conley, Stud.
Dennis Covington, Salvation on Sand Mountain.
Barbara Freese, Coal: A Human History.
Walt Harrington, The Everlasting Stream: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friends and Family.
David Kline, Letters From Larksong: An Amish Naturalist Explores His Organic Farm.
By the first day of class I have to write a theology of community and how it can or cannot be expressed in rural communities. After the classes I have to write another paper assessing the morality of a specific rural activity, such as tobacco production, whiskey production, coal mining, thoroughbred breeding, use of GMOs, organic farming, etc. There is also a final exam based on the readings and lectures.
Cool. What a nerdalicious treat.