In Defense of Localism

An essay that I recently wrote has been published over at Mere Orthodoxy. In it, I argue that localism provides the much needed resources for building strong and compassionate communities, as well as anchoring our cultural and political endeavors to their proper aims. I also respond to the notion that localism, unchecked by a federal arbiter, is something which necessarily tends toward white supremacy or discrimination.

“It is precisely this genuine commitment to local places that enables the many pursuits taken up on its behalf. Without this grounded vision of the contexts we inhabit, our religious, scientific, intellectual, and cultural projects too often become hollowed out, mobilized instead to serve some abstracted idea of “discovery” or “progress.” Only as we return closer and closer to home can they bear the weight which they were designed to carry. Not surprisingly, the account of localism Grossman has offered us does not acknowledge its power on this front. Worse still, absent this connection to the particularities of flesh and blood and place, we are left with an alternatively rootless intellectual framework, producing efforts which are, at best, void of the meaning they might contain and, at worst, counterproductive to their purported aims.”

You can read the entire essay here.


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