Jason Peters tends a small acreage in Ingham County, Michigan, and teaches English at Hillsdale College.
A founding member of FPR, he is the editor of both Local Culture: A Journal of the Front Porch Republic and Front Porch Republic Books.
His books include The Culinary Plagiarist: (Mis)Adventures of a Lusty, Thieving, God-Fearing Gourmand (FPR Books 2020), Wendell Berry: Life and Work (University Press of Kentucky 2007), Land! The Case for an Agrarian Economy, by John Crowe Ransom (University Press of Notre Dame, 2017), and Localism in the Mass Age: A Front Porch Republic Manifesto (co-edited with Mark T. Mitchell for FPR Books, 2018).
Friendship may also be an art that invites our probing, if also by inviting resists it. Careful study of any great work of art gives way to knowledge, and knowledge, when it is more fully grown, presents to us by way of return a greater mystery than we started with. Our knowing sends us back to the thing, and we find that it is now larger, deeper, more vexing, if also paradoxically to some degree better known.
here are many such images, as many images as there are places where good folk deep in this life perform the communal rites of place. Several of them are collected here in this issue of Local Culture, the first and I hope not the last devoted to food and drink.
Back of all this you might hear a rabble-rousing Palestinian Jew from a couple of millennia ago promising that the truth, once known, will set you free - but that poor soul on a collision course with Golgotha was assuming that truth could be disentangled from all the elegant technocratic lies it’s wound up in.
Think not, then, of the ubiquitous screens and hideous architecture and suburban metastasis and microwave dinners. Think rather of Eric Voegelin’s famous quip—Voegelin, who said that “no one is obliged to take part in the spiritual crisis of a society; on the contrary, everyone is obliged to avoid this folly and live his life in order.”
Over and against manifest follies that characterize American life in the first quarter of the twenty-first century there stands the wide-ranging work, keen and voluminous, of the historian and social critic Christopher Lasch.