Dateline: 16 January 2014
Every so often I do a Google search to see if there are any new Allan C. Carlson articles, interviews, or speeches. If you are a Christian agrarian, or interested in Christian agrarianism, and you aren't familiar with Mr. Carlson, you need to get reading. I have blogged about him Here and Here. That will get you started.
I consider Allan Carlson to be one of the foremost Christian-agrarian advocates (though he probably doesn't think of himself in that term). And I am thrilled to see the newest book he has written.
There are not many books I will pre-order and pay a premium for, but this book is one of them. Here the book's description from it's page at Amazon.com…
Allan C. Carlson argues that agrarianism is alive and well in twenty-first-century America. He emphasizes the evident bond between the healthy, natural family and an agrarian-like household, where the sexual and the economic merge through marriage and child-bearing and where the family is defined in considerable measure by its material efforts.
Carlson notes that natural households see parents as the educators of their young; they celebrate homes engaged in the care of young, aged, and infirm family members. Such a worldview points to the recreation of a family-centered economy and portends a renewal of the true democracy dreamed of by Washington, Adams, and Jefferson.
This book has four parts. In the first, "The Natural Family at Home," Carlson provides an overview of this type of household as it existed in the past. The second part examines twentieth-century "displacements" from this normative order, examining the effects of capitalism, gender ideology, and war. Representative "dissents" from this transformation find expression in the third part. The voices identified here vary in discipline: some write in the language of literature and poetry; others use the constructs of economics. In the fourth and final part, Carlson describes "movements home": the rebirth of family-centered habitation; the reassertion of a "gendered" order; and the remarkable return of family-scale agriculture. Written by one of the most prestigious and respected scholars in the area, The Natural Family Where It Belongs will influence how today’s family life is viewed in America and abroad. This volume is the latest in Transaction’s Marriage and Family Studies series.
I find it interesting that there are Christian organizations dedicated to preserving families, yet they miss the agrarian/home-economy connection. Can you imagine the well-known parachurch ministry Focus on the Family encouraging families to separate from industrial-world conformity; to return to the land, to grow their own food, to pursue domestic crafts and domestic production—in short to develop agrarian-based family economies?
That’s not likely to happen.
But, maybe, someday, someone will catch the vision for a new ministry to families, and they will name it Focus on the Family Economy. Such a ministry would encourage families to develop self-reliant, agrarian-based economies where everyone—fathers, mothers, children, and even extended family members—deliberately pursue the wisdom of God’s order for the family.
Well, it turns out here is a Christian ministry that focuses on the family economy! It's called Generations With Vision. And in March of this year, in Denver, Colorado, they will have a Family Economics Conference. Guess who one of the speakers is? Allan C. Carlson!
I am delighted to see Generations With Vision teaming up with Allan Carlson and advancing the vision of Christian agrarianism.
This is very good news.