Oheň a hvězdy
Filosofická zamýšlení nad morálním smyslem přírody
[Embers and the Stars. Philosophical reflections on the moral meaning of nature]
paperback, 316 pp., 2. edition
published: october 2021
recommended price: 330 czk
“How do life, the world and my place in them all fit together?” “How does Good come into the world and how is it that Evil exists?”
These are some of the questions, Professor Erazim Kohák asks in his meditative book entitled Embers and Stars. Originating during his American exile, he published Embers and the Stars in 1984, which garnered great acclaim. Parts of it were available to Czech readers in a samizdat translation. The current book, Embers and the Stars, however, is not a mere translation of the original work as it has been rewritten and augmented by personal experiences of the subsequent 32 years of life. It is somewhat less “scholarly,” but all the more imbued with the search for wisdom and full of strong stimuli for astute readers.
All of the contemplations included in this book are framed by life in nature, reflected from the glowing embers of a welcoming fire ring, mirrored in the glow of the starry sky – a sky we will never see in cities, because civilization has given us much (night lighting, for example), but has also taken a lot from us (starry sky, obscured by light pollution). He holds nature as a place that allows a person to fully open himself or herself to the world, life, love and understanding.
Erazim Kohák, one of the most prominent representatives of environmental ethics, does not moralize and neither does he see things as black or white. Instead he seeks mutual respect and balance between modern life and nature.