The Camphill movement, one of the world’s largest and most enduring networks of intentional communities, deserves both recognition and study. Founded in Scotland at the beginning of the Second World War, Camphill communities still thrive today, encompassing thousands of people living in more than one hundred twenty schools, villages, and urban neighborhoods on four continents. Camphillers of all abilities share daily work, family life, and festive celebrations with one another and their neighbors. Unlike movements that reject mainstream society, Camphill expressly seeks to be “a seed of social renewal” by evolving along with society to promote the full inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities, who comprise nearly half of their residents. In this multifaceted exploration of Camphill, Dan McKanan traces the complexities of the movement’s history, envisions its possible future, and invites ongoing dialogue between the fields of disability studies and communal studies.
“Dan McKanan knows Camphill better than anyone else in the academic world and has crafted an absorbing account of the movement as it faces challenges eighty years after its founding.” TIMOTHY MILLER, author of The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities
“This book serves as a living, working document for the Camphill movement. McKanan shows that disability studies and communal studies have more to offer each other than we recognize.” ELIZABETH SANDERS, Managing Director, Camphill Academy
“With good research and wonderful empathy, McKanan pinpoints not only Camphill’s societal significance but also how this eighty-year-old movement can still bring potent remediation for the values and social norms of today’s world.” RICHARD STEEL, CEO, Karl König Institute
DAN MCKANAN is the Emerson Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. His research focuses on religion and social transformation, with special emphasis on intentional communities, sustainable agriculture, and leftist activism. His most recent book is Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism.
McKanan, D. 2020. Camphill and the Future: Spirituality and Disability in an Evolving Communal Movement. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.92
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