Sunday, March 14, 2010

Law & Rural Livelihoods

The last post touched upon the often bleak economic conditions in small towns. As a follow-up, I would like to spotlight the scholarship of Professor Lisa R. Pruitt of UC-Davis. I met her serendipitously a few years ago at a conference, and have been really intrigued by her work. Her primary focus is the intersection of Law and Rural Livelihoods. It is an important area of social justice, but it is one that seems to not get a lot of attention in mainstream media. I'm glad she brings attention to this area.

Professor Pruitt's articles are available at the following link:

In addition, Professor Pruitt also contributes to a blog on Legal Ruralism.

The blog and Professor Pruitt's articles may be of interest to those interested in learning more about social justice issues involving people in rural communities.

Mark 4:2-8, 14-20 (New Century Version)

Jesus taught them many things, using stories. He said, "Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While he was planting, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn't much dirt. That seed grew very fast, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, the plants dried up because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. So those plants did not produce a crop. Some other seed fell on good ground and began to grow. It got taller and produced a crop. Some plants made thirty times more, some made sixty times more, and some made a hundred times more."

The farmer is like a person who plants God's message in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the road. This is like the people who hear the teaching of God, but Satan quickly comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Others are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly accept it with joy. But since they don't allow the teaching to go deep into their lives, they keep it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly give up. Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives. Others are like the seed planted in the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce fruit—sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more."

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