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Library to Offer Discussions About "Spell of the Sensuous"

Decorah Public Library is planning a two-part discussion of excerpts from David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous on Wednesday March 4 and Tuesday, March 10, starting at 7 pm both times. Abrams is scheduled to present the Jones Fellowship lecture “Perception and Language In A More Than Human World” at Luther College on Thursday March 12, 7pm in the Center For Faith and Life Recital Hall.
When Mar 10, 2009
from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where in the Mezzanine
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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Decorah Public Library is planning a two-part discussion of excerpts from David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous on Wednesday March 4 and Tuesday, March 10, starting at 7 pm both times.   Abrams is scheduled to present the Jones Fellowship lecture “Perception and Language In A More Than Human World” at Luther College on Thursday March 12, 7pm in the Center For Faith and Life Recital Hall.

            The purpose of the discussion sessions is to stimulate thinking about answers to such questions as, “How did we as a species come to be so separated from the natural world that evolved us?” and “Is it possible and/or essential that we re-learn the language and perceptual skills that enabled our ancestors to communicate with the non-human world?” prior to Abram’s lecture.

            David Abram, cultural ecologist and philosopher, is the author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World , for which he received numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.  An accomplished sleight-of-hand magician who has lived with indigenous sorcerers in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas, his essays have appeared often in such journals as The Ecologist, Orion, Parabola, Resurgence, Wild Earth, Tikkun, and Environmental Ethics, as well as in over 30 edited anthologies.  The recipient of numerous fellowships, Abram lectures and teaches widely on several continents; he has been named by the Utne Reader as one of the hundred leading visionaries currently transforming the world.  His work focuses upon the cultural and imaginative aspects of ecological transformation, and upon the intertwined mysteries of perception and language—the way in which these two dimensions modulate the ethical relation between humankind and the animate earth.  David is an ardent spokesperson for night-herons, cedar trees, and storm clouds; he maintains a passionate interest in interspecies communication, and in the rejuvenation of oral culture.

            Of Abram’s book, author Bill McKibben (The End of Nature) writes, “This is a landmark book. Scholars will doubtless recognize its brilliance, but they may overlook the most important part of Abram’s achievement: he has written the best instruction manual yet for becoming fully human. I walked outside when I was done and the world was a different place”

Decorah Public Library is pleased to be partnering with Luther in discussing Abram’s ideas prior to his visit to the College.  Helping to facilitate the discussions will be David Faldet, professor of English at Luther College, and Bill Humphrey, a teacher and practitioner of shamanic arts.  Anyone interested in participating in the pre-lecture discussion is encouraged to pick up a copy of the book and discussion questions as soon as possible, as copies are limited.

            For more information about this and other adult programs at Decorah Public Library, contact Kristin Torresdal at 382-3717 or ktorresdal@decorah.lib.ia.us.