Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture

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University Press of Kentucky, 2012 - Nature - 269 pages

The costs of industrial agriculture are astonishing in terms of damage to the environment, human health, animal suffering, and social equity, and the situation demands that we expand our ecological imagination to meet this crisis. In response to growing dissatisfaction with the existing food system, farmers and consumers are creating alternate models of production and consumption that are both sustainable and equitable. In Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture, author A. Whitney Sanford uses the story of the deity Balaram and the Yamuna River as a foundation for discussing the global food crisis and illustrating the Hindu origins of agrarian thought.

By employing narrative as a means of assessing modern agriculture, Sanford encourages us to reconsider our relationship with the earth. Merely creating new stories is not enough -- she asserts that each story must lead to changed practices. Growing Stories from India demonstrates that conventional agribusiness is only one of many options and engages the work of modern agrarian luminaries to explore how alternative agricultural methods can be implemented.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 The Ecological Imagination
12
Chapter 2 Narratives of Agriculture
28
Chapter 3 Balaram and the Yamuna River
56
Chapter 4 Borrowing Balaram
93
Chapter 5 The Festival of Holi
121
Chapter 6 The Land in Between
161
Chapter 7 Restoration Reciprocity and Repair
194
Acknowledgments
225
Notes
227
Bibliography
241
Index
257
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About the author (2012)

A. Whitney Sanford, associate professor of religion at the University of Florida, is the author of Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramanand's Poetry. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

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