The current story of Christian media is not—despite the pain occasioned by the passing of Books and Culture—exclusively one of decline and buzzfeedification. This summer marks the advent of a new annual, edited by Michael Martin, titled Jesus the Imagination.
Martin is a Byzantine Rite Catholic and biodynamic farmer who teaches philosophy, religious studies, and English at Marygrove College in Detroit, and the first issue of the journal displays his particular blend of concerns. It’s an eclectic mix: an essay comparing the unseen world of aquatic invertebrates with the invisible world of the angels, a piece contrasting the deep ecology of The Little Prince with the Christian and humanist concern for creation exemplified in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’, and essays on close reading as a spiritual practice and on 20th century English novelist John Cowper Powys are interspersed with poetry and visual art.
But through the eclecticism, a distinct editorial personality emerges: this is a magazine that dares to suggest the work of the artist, the experience of the mystic, and the encounter of the human being with the natural world are all aspects of the same thing: the love between God and his creation, mediated through the Son who preeminently bears his image.
Martin has subtitled the quarterly “A journal of spiritual revolution,” and he is not kidding. “Our intention,” he writes, is “not altogether modest: the regeneration of Christian art and culture.”
The journal, published by New York-based Angelico Press, will be launched on July 25th at Connolly’s at 121 West 45th Street in midtown Manhattan by City and Kingdom New York, a new event series focused on Christian culture and community, sponsored by Plough Quarterly, Solidarity Hall, The Davenant Institute, and Mere Orthodoxy.
Martin will speak on the intersection of the concerns of the journal with topics he’s covered in a piece for the current issue of Plough. There will be beer; there will be discussion; there will be poetry reading. Wisdom, cultural regeneration, and the coming of the Kingdom of God are less at our command. But we can make room.
Go here to register for the event and to sign up for information about future events in the series; to learn more about the series, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Go here to subscribe to the magazine.