A Wendell Berry Epigraph
Wendell Berry and Norman Wirzba, Tennessee in August

Wendell Berry and Christian Community

One of our sanest writers is Wendell Berry. His contribution as a Christian essayist to the environmental movement has been unique and profound. His poetry, especially his Sabbaths collection, is evocative and wise. But it’s his fiction that has shaped my imagination, especially when it comes to Christian expressions of community and worship.

Berry prefers the word membership over community. Our word membership arises directly from the biblical text. “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5). This member/body language is key to Paul’s understanding of Christian community in his major letters of Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians.

Berry imports this metaphor into his stories about his fictional town of Port William, Kentucky. The town itself is a membership. Each person participating in the larger life of the community — even if they don’t want to.

Read more by Pete Santucci HERE.


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