My guest for this episode is Rhamis Kent, a permaculture teacher and designer originally from the United States who currently lives in the United Kingdom and teaches in Africa and the Middle East.
He joins me today to begin the series on Faith and Earth Care.
During this conversation we discuss his background, the ideas of law and ethics, the core tenants of Islam, and how these relate to our being stewards of the earth. We wrap things up by talking more about ethics and land care.
Even though Rhamis is a practicing Muslim, we talk about Islam and faith in an academic and largely secular fashion, divorced from the geo-politics one might hear in the news. There is a great deal of value in this interview for anyone who wants to understand and engage others to build greater community and, in turn, a better world.
This conversation is the first of at least two, possibly three, with Rhamis and serves as an introduction to what will follow. As Rhamis and I spent 6 hours talking over two different days the tone of this conversation is considerably more open and jovial than I have had in most of the previous interviews. That lead to a show that is quite different from the norm. Because of that you’ll hear two cuts in the middle where I removed a couple of minutes of me taking us on different tangents. The difference is that because of how long we spoke this first time I ran up against a hard deadline and had to stop the conversation a bit abruptly.
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I don’t have a lot to add to the conversation at the moment, as I’ll do a longer breakdown after the end of these interviews with Rhamis, whether that is one more or two.
However, I will remark that while listening to Rhamis I was reminded of the stories and teachings in my own childhood, and how similar people really are to one another. A desire for peace, kinship, kindness, and to be treated like a human being. I won’t say those ideas are universal, but I will say it is incredible how small the difference are that so often divide us. I’d rather focus on what brings us together. Wouldn’t you?
Where ever you stand after listening to all of this, I’d like to hear from you. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Join in the discussions on Facebook: facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast. Or follow me on twitter where I am: @permaculturecst.
Also, please feel free to call me if there is any way I can help you on your path with permaculture. A phone call is the easiest way to reach me, and often garners the quickest reply. I’m not always available to answer the phone, but will call you back as soon as possible. That number is: 717-827-6266.
The next episode of the show is a Q&A with Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss about tending the wild, expect that on Friday, January 24th. The next full interview is out on January 27th, with Eric Puro of The Poosh.org and that organization’s work to build sustainable projects around the world. Then will be Wayne Herring back for a Q&A about small scale farming on January 31st.
Rhamis Kent (Permaculture Global)
Brethren of Purity (Wikipedia Entry)
The Case of the Animals Versus Man Before the King of the Jinn from the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity (Oxford University Press)
Epistles of the Brethren of Purity (Oxford University Press)
Ibn al-‘Arabi by William C. Chittick (Available to read online)
Collapse by Jared Diamond (English Wikipedia Entry)
Dirt by David Montgomery (UC Press)
Reconstruction by Way of the Soil by G.T. Wrench (Available to read online)
Topsoil and Civilization by Carter and Dale (Link to Google Books, no ebook Available)