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Imagination vs. Fancy

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN past editorial statements, we have pointed out the resurgence of religious ideas and experiences in contemporary art and literature. We have argued that this phenomenon is part of an important cultural shift. Moreover, we have celebrated this movement as a hopeful sign, one of the primary justifications for the existence of Image. But many…

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Fugitive Energies

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN his essay, “How the West Lost Its Story,” theologian Robert W. Jenson argues that we postmoderns no longer inhabit what he calls a “narratable world.” The heart of Western civilization, he notes, has been the biblical story, which posited a coherent, dramatic narrative—a world that had a beginning, middle, and at least a vision…

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Why the Inklings Aren’t Enough

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

TOWARD the end of his life, Karl Marx found himself in conversation with an earnest, would-be acolyte who was burbling about his plan to found a Marxist club. The older man suddenly rounded on him, declaring: “Je ne suis pas une Marxiste!” (I am not a Marxist). In a few simple words Marx managed not…

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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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Why the Inklings Aren’t Enough

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

TOWARD the end of his life, Karl Marx found himself in conversation with an earnest, would-be acolyte who was burbling about his plan to found a Marxist club. The older man suddenly rounded on him, declaring: “Je ne suis pas une Marxiste!” (I am not a Marxist). In a few simple words Marx managed not…

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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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Recognizing the Stranger: The Art of Emmanuel Garibay

By Rod Pattenden Essay

ART MAY BE CONCERNED with the creative manipulation of images, but words are always part of the picture. When we encounter a work of art, a load of labels and captions, categories and explanations always works to help or hinder our better understanding. Some are printed on the wall beside the work; others we carry inside…

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The Bar Mitzvah

By Fleda Brown Poetry

_____The row of goyim, that’s us, family of half the family, those who don’t talk of Israel at dinner, here because of fate, because of the strangeness of our children, because of this grandchild in his tallis, his kippot, words we read the leaflet to know. We watch the Torah lifted from its rainbow tomb,…

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Studying with You

By D.G. Myers Essay

The Road Behind Us Image’s Founding Generation When Image was founded in 1989, the cultural landscape looked different than it does today. Religious writers and artists felt cold-shouldered in the public square and often ill at ease within the church. The need for a journal that demonstrated the continuing vitality of contemporary art informed by…

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