Christendom College philosophy professor Dr. John Cuddeback was recently profiled by Ethika Politika, the publication of the Center for Morality in Public Life. Looking into his past and his own personal philosophies, Ethika Politika highlights Cuddeback’s emphasis on the connection between farming and philosophy, revealing how it can lead to a better world for future generations.
In the profile, the author, Alexandra Greeley, points out the connection between food and faith — a strong belief of Cuddeback — and how that belief has been lost in most of today’s urban sprawl and materialistic culture. Cuddeback seeks to bring that connection back into the public consciousness, beginning in his own home and ultimately in the lives of each one of his students at Christendom.
“A garden is a significant way of cultivating the earth. In gardening most of us can have the opportunity to take care of soil, to enjoy earth’s bounty, and to improve the soil to promote better crops. For me, gardening and other such homesteading projects were an effort to reconnect: not only with the earth but with myself and others,” said Cuddeback in the interview.
Before earning his B.A. from Christendom, Cuddeback was raised in a Maryland suburban community — one of many such communities that dot North America. Like these other communities, Cuddeback’s had a disconnect from the rest of nature, causing the people in the community to have an ignorance and separation from the earth and its history. Upon moving to Front Royal, Va., and getting married, Cuddeback acquired a farm, and began cultivating the earth via gardening and raising pigs — the former of which inspired the title of his popular blog, Bacon from Acorns.
Today, Cuddeback takes his knowledge and respect for nature and brings it into the classroom in courses such as the Philosophy of Human Nature, Society and the Common Good, and the Philosophy of Family and Household.
“A Catholic ecology calls us to a respectful and fruitful interaction with the natural world, rooted in a God-centered worldview,” says Cuddeback. “Catholic principles are a solid foundation for a wise environmentalism, one that sees the natural world for what it is, recognizing its essential place in the economy of salvation…don’t use the gifts of resources just for ourselves. God calls us to look to future generations. And this must be integral to how we use these resources today.”
Cuddeback, who received a Ph.D. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in 1997, has been teaching at Christendom since the same year. He is a popular writer and lecturer on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, contemplation, and friendship. His book Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness was re-published in 2010 by Epic Publishing. Recently, Cuddeback co-authored a new biology textbook Nature’s Beautiful Order: An Introduction to the Study of Animals Taught by Classical Naturalists, published by Memoria Press.