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The English word heresy is derived from the Greek hairesis, meaning “to choose.” Although it is now defined as a thought that challenges prevailing orthodoxy, its root simply describes the expression of free will. As such, heresy has the potential not only to dismantle traditions and institutions, but also to forge new ones. As environmental practitioners, we are often viewed as heretics by the culture at large. However, we also cultivate our own share of unyielding dogmas, which we defend against all comers. Some involve tenets considered inviolable until they are disproved via the scientific method. Other, more unspoken rules may be cultural, philosophical, or ethical in nature. Insofar as we, as environmental professionals, share the same basic objective of promoting, maintaining, and protecting a healthy planet, how do we remain open to heretical ideas that seem counterintuitive, but may ultimately prove beneficial? To that effect, how can we become better heretics? Volume 20 of Whole Terrain seeks challenging, insightful, and original explorations of the theme of Heresy that encompass the full range and scope of environmental practice.
Editors’ Note by Rowland Russell
Heretics in the Woods
The Virgin and the Slug
The Birds of America
Making and Un-making Gold: Confessions of an Anti-Alchemist
Selections from Industrial Scars
J Henry Fair
Radical Centrists at the Matador
Watch the trailer for Kristina’s 80-minute one-woman show online. Visit Kristina’s website for information on where you can catch a complete, unedited performance of Going Green the Wong Way.
Robert Michael Pyle
Watch a recording of this poem, read by the author and accompanied by an original guitar composition written and performed by Krist Novoselic.
The Swimming Pool at the End of Time
Story That Won’t End Well
Reckoning the Ghost of Cactus Ed
Michael P. Branch
Read the original Call for Submissions.