Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community.
We believe that the great art that has emerged from these faith traditions is dramatic, not didactic—incarnational, not abstract. And so our focus has been on works of imagination that embody a spiritual struggle, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. In our pages the larger questions of existence intersect with what the poet Albert Goldbarth calls the “greasy doorknobs and salty tearducts” of our everyday lives.
“Image occupies a unique place in the religion/arts world. No other journal manages to maintain such academic integrity while at the same time avoiding theological jargon. No other journal manages to offer such depth while still remaining comprehensible to a general readership. No other journal manages to be so provocative while also being so full of common sense. And no other journal in this field begins to match Image for quality of presentation. A major achievement with a rich and promising future.”
—Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford Research Professor in Theology, Duke Divinity School
“Just read the last copy of Image on Tuesday. So beautiful. The writing. The design. The art. All of it.”
—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“Image is the most meaningful literary journal being published today. Each issue brings us back into an understanding that art pierces the surface of our lives to illuminate the soul; that art is, indeed, a redemptive gift from God.”
—Bret Lott, author of Jewel
“This magazine fills a real gap in the area of art and religion, and I am convinced that for many people this journal will be a very important source of better understanding of the deep links between art and religion.”
—Henri J.M. Nouwen, author of Behold the Beauty of the Lord
“You have produced something that is fine, beautiful, and commendable. God certainly is not in need of your help, but if He were to venture an opinion I'm fairly sure that He would smile upon all that you have done. In looking over Image, I confess, I felt a sense of grace, something borne in the air, something wonderfully and almost inexplicably buoyant. My response is to say to you, Kol HaKavod, which means, in Hebrew, ‘All the honor is yours.’”
—Mark Helprin, author of A Soldier of the Great War
“Image is a realistic, valuable, and extraordinarily interesting magazine. Its writing and artwork is simple, direct, and without pretension—like the best of all American writing. It deserves generous support—and applause.”
—Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
“Reading Image is like entering a room full of unpretentious, smart friends talking about fascinating questions. The magazine is not only beautiful; it's probing, thoughtful, and wise about art, politics, and the life of faith. I need Image, and I'm not surprised so many other people do, too.”
—Jeanne Murray Walker, poet and playwright, author of The Queen's Two Bodies
“Image is a daring project, filled with the highest promise. Our nation's high culture, which is increasingly uncertain about what distinguishes high from low, is perhaps ready to be pointed toward the humane and humanizing understanding of the arts that has been in the past, and can be in the future, nurtured by biblical faith.”
—Richard John Neuhaus, author of The Naked Public Square
“Image is the most exciting new journal I've seen...a beacon, a lighthouse for Christians involved in the arts.... Perhaps, like Eliot's quarterly, it will influence an entire generation. It has that potential.”
—Larry Woiwode, novelist, author of Beyond the Bedroom Wall
“A first-class journal in every aspect—graphics, design, and most importantly, content...a rare and valuable prize.”
—Dan Wakefield, author of Returning: A Spiritual Journey
“Image is compelling. I've seen nothing like it.”
—Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television, Inc.
“A beautiful magazine.”
—Madeleine L'Engle, Newbery Award-winning author
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Image seeks out and brings to its readers work of high artistic quality that engages with the historic faith traditions on a profound level, without easy answers or false uplift, and with a serious respect for beauty and truth.
Our solitude turns out to be crowded. The writer’s tiny hut is filled with ghosts; the painter’s chilly studio is populated by unseen rivals; in the poet’s hard-won hideaway, invisible influences lurk. Others are always already there. So much for the romantic myth.
To be a poet you must write
more than you know
A bird sits the branch in beauty for
It has recently killed.
A certain way I was is gone,
I admit, the ways that I was young.
I know you don’t believe in God, which is only strange to me because you feel like proof.
People need more than just practical support, but things to feed the soul, to brighten the gray of limbo and the toxic boredom of being in between one life and the next.
The nurses took off the sterile white net,
tied your hair back from your beautiful face,
and detached the machines to let you die.
First we cry.
Then the tears turn to stone.
Then we remember just one thing:
The death of a son.
In a passing moment at the door, Merrill captures a truth about the influence of friendship. Through the unaware examples of others, we recognize values we have been searching for in ourselves—edges or shades of the person we might become.
I was warned by teachers and fellow artists against allowing my work to be influenced by others. But I have never really been convinced by the notion of being original.
Did you put him
on the canvas to get one more Jew out
of harm’s way?
I wrap you in a cape and snug it with a clip.
How careful I must be, rounding
your good ear with scissors, the ear
my tongue loves to kiss, apricot-sweet,
and loves, too, the bad ear and its ghosts.