Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 22, 2017

Matthew D. Wright
Pages 39-51

“The Earth Itself Is a Suburb”
Local Attachments and Universal Norms in the Natural Law

The work of J. Budziszewski highlights an important dimension of natural law ethical and political theory, i.e., the interplay between particular customs and universal moral norms. This discussion investigates that relationship through a reading of G. K. Chesterton’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill—a novel that presents a nuanced picture of the vitality and danger of robust patriotism. Chesterton directs our attention to the necessity of real local attachments if we are ultimately to conform to the universal justice of the natural law.