Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Localism as Idolatry

Alan Jacobs writes a short but forceful critique of Wendell Berry’s brand of agrarian localism:

There are Christians all over the world today because the successors to Paul declined to stay home. They were not “stickers.”

None of this means that affection for one’s geographical place in the world is of no value; but it does suggest that for the Christian it has at best a secondary and contingent value. There are higher commitments to which it must be subservient. To make it a first-order commitment —which as I read Wendell Berry’s work is what he does — is, as far I can tell, a form of idolatry.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the Rector of Christ Church Anglican in South Bend, Indiana. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a founding member of the Davenant Institute.