Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wendell Berry on Unintentional Community

The interview is from about a month ago, but I saw this response from Wendell Berry and just loved it:
Jackson Hole Weekly: What happens to our sense of community if we create pockets of like-minded people?

Wendell Berry: I can’t talk much about intentional communities; I’ve never lived in one. My community is an unintentional community. This gang of people just turned up here. And it raises perhaps more interesting questions than the intentional community. A diversity of people with their diversity of opinions, prejudices, practices, good and bad, habits – how do they avoid either exploiting or killing each other? How do they get along? How do they keep the local conversation going?
How does this critique ecclesial communities, and in particular Christian intentional communities?

1 comment:

  1. YES. "Intentional community", I think, suffers from exactly the same kind of consumerism it seeks to avoid, in that both are kinds of self-selecting which avoids other alternatives which are not of their choosing. By contrast, Christian community, such as Benedict's rule, explicitly takes up the question of visitors and outsiders staying for long lengths of time, specificially because....you can't control a community entirely insofar as a community of this kind is one ordered toward a free God.