Urban Altruism

A blog growing out of the seminar "Seeking the Welfare of the City" (PHIL 390) at Calvin College, directed by James K.A. Smith. For more info visit http://www.calvin.edu/~jks4/city

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Catholic "New Urbanist" Town

This is a kind of weird development in Naples, Florida...a Roman Catholic town created by former Domino's Pizza founder, Tom Monaghan. He calls the town "God's Will."

The town, Ave Maria, "Will be set on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center, a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, at nearly 65 feet tall. Monaghan envisions 11,000 homes and 20,000 residents."

I think they've kind of got it all wrong, but we'll be talking about the "material conditions of altruism" so this might be something to reference.


Their Website:

Bonus Content (from the website):
Here's a picture of one of the houses:

Here's the type of people that they envision living here:


  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger James K.A. Smith said…

    Thanks for pointing to the links for this, Matt. I saw in the paper that Monaghan has pulled back a bit from this, or at least from its promised "cloister" effect. But when we start reading Ruskin, we'll see that there _is_ something to this idea of a faith-based community. Or even when we broach Aristotle on Tuesday, the issue will be: can a city be a community without a common vision of the Good?


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