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Convergences

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

WHEN Harold and I brought out the first pilot issue of Image exactly four years ago, we knew that we had undertaken a quixotic task. The “culture wars” were then at their height. The relationship between art and religion was front page news—but only because Senator Jesse Helms and the Rev. Donald Wildmon were trading…

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Yankee Immigrants Convert

By Doris Betts Essay

IN its December 1977 issue, when Jimmy Carter’s presidency made national media rediscover the South, Esquire magazine published Walker Percy’s non-interview with himself, entitled “Questions They Never Asked Me So He Asked Them Himself.” Chiefly, he grumbled about pesky interviewers who kept asking him over and over again what he thought of the South, of…

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The Culture Wars Revisited

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

TEN years ago in these pages I attempted to explain “Why I am a Conscientious Objector in the Culture Wars.” At that time, the dust had only recently settled on the public controversies over National Endowment for the Arts funding of works by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. In addition to the debate over public…

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Two-Way Traffic

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN A RECENT essay, poet Ira Sadoff issued a sweeping denunciation of what he calls the “spiritualization of American poetry.” Entitled “Trafficking in the Radiant” and published in the July/August American Poetry Review, the essay asserts that contemporary poets have been influenced by the resurgence of religiosity in our culture, with disastrous results. “My contention…

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Looking for a Renaissance

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

MOST EDUCATED PEOPLE, in addition to a set of favorite authors, artists, and composers, develop a fascination for one or more historic cultures: republican Rome, say, or colonial New England or the Ming dynasty. Sometimes these passions are matters of aesthetic or intellectual taste, but often they bear a relationship to the individual’s ideas about what constitutes the…

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Conservative Elegies

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven! ——————William Wordsworth WITHIN JUST A FEW WEEKS, America recently lost two of its finest sons—William F. Buckley Jr. and E. Victor Milione. One was known to millions, while the other preferred obscurity, but both were seminal figures in the…

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Why Sacred Music Endures

By James MacMillan Essay

The following lecture was originally delivered in London in October 2008, marking the thirtieth anniversary of the Sandford St. Martin Trust, which promotes excellence in religious media programming in the U.K. It was later broadcast on BBC Radio. HISTORY HAS an annoying habit of sneaking up and mugging the certain and the convinced. In European…

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Guy Kinnear: Male Call

By Gordon Fuglie Essay

IN THE MID-1980s, just shy of my fortieth birthday, I found myself out of work and divorced. It was a crash landing of all my aspirations, and crawling from the wreckage of two traumas, I was grieved, confused, desperate—cut off from the world I thought I understood. In the fragile years that followed, I tried…

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Hesiod on Bushfire

By Les Murray Poetry

Poxes of the sun or of the mind bring the force-ten firestorms. After come same-surname funerals, junked theory, praise of mateship. Love the gum forest, camp out in it but death hosts your living in it, brother. You need buried space and cellars have a convict fetor: only pubs kept them. Houses shook them off…

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The Myth of Independent Film

By Craig Detweiler Essay

IT STARTED with a phone call. “Sweet D, I’m coming to California. I want to interview you for my new book.” Nobody ever called me “Sweet” except my Davidson College roommate, John Marks. Evidently he was on the prowl, in search of his next story. I was intrigued. “Why me?” I asked him. “Because you…

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