Single issue magazines

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Searching for Home 42.2 | Summer 2024

Searching for Home 42.2 | Summer 2024

Purchase a single copy of our summer 2024 issue. Home. The source of so much longing, yet also often the site of pain accumulated over lifetimes of loss and alienation. What’s going on in the late modern era that “home” feels so elusive? What is home, actually?...

Violence 42.1 | Spring 2024

Violence 42.1 | Spring 2024

Purchase a single copy of our spring 2024 issue. Is it possible for peace to walk in power anymore? This is the question of this issue. An exploding Middle East, a West on tenterhooks, many of us are holding our breath. Humans properly fear violence, all forms of it....

Church, Where Are You? 41.4 | Winter 2023

Church, Where Are You? 41.4 | Winter 2023

Purchase a single copy of our winter 2023 issue. It’s no secret that the church, like every other traditional institution in late modernity, is struggling. Its impoverished public witness in recent years, the lack of vision and compromised credibility, reveals soil...

Gender and Our Humanity 41.3 | Fall 2023

Gender and Our Humanity 41.3 | Fall 2023

Purchase a single copy of our fall 2023 issue. There is no question that gender has moved toward the centre of the culture war in North America. But do we understand what is at stake when gender becomes one more choice among many? This issue of Comment desires to...

Charting Social Change 41.1 | Spring 2023

Charting Social Change 41.1 | Spring 2023

Purchase a single copy of our spring 2023 issue. What causes change in the norms and orthodoxies of a society? We’re familiar with change induced by outside forces: a technological advance, a natural disaster. But when we want to change something, whether animated by an ideal or in reaction to the status quo, what’s at play, especially when it works?

The question may be a peculiarly modern one. We live in times when agency is at once vaunted yet elusive, our unprecedented powers of reach, data, and technological mastery somehow yielding not glory but a mass sink into numbness. Low-grade nihilism simmers just beneath the surface of everyday conversation, the desire for impact birthed in secular zeal soon stymied by chokeholds of institutional breakdown and pixelated trust. With several generations having passed since a spokesperson for justice was able to inspire and unite the masses in moral movement, many experience today’s wicked problems as insurmountable. Cynical indifference tempts both humble and ambitious alike, and, still more concerning, an entire generation of young adults.

Comment’s next two issues are going to explore this in two parts. Our spring issue will perform an x-ray on today’s paradox of agency while asking afresh how culture actually changes. And our summer issue will dive into some narratives of those historic seedbeds of social and moral movements that incubated quietly, intentionally, and with great patience and trust. We hope that our writers’ explorations of both the analytical and the exemplary will be of interest to philanthropists and historians, non-profits and artists, theorists of cultural change and all those keen to recover a sense of coherent momentum in human affairs.

The Restoration of the Human 40.4 | Fall 2022

The Restoration of the Human 40.4 | Fall 2022

Purchase a single copy of our fall 2022 issue. What is the person? Who is the human? These are not abstract refrains for the philosopher. It seems clear that the ways in which we conceptualize and live out personhood and human dignity are central battlegrounds in our democracy and in the world at large. From long-standing debates around abortion, to foundational questions of race and human value, to the ways in which we conceive of our neighbour and how to interact with that neighbour, to technology and AI, to bioethics and end-of-life care, to our understanding of the natural world—very little if anything is untouched.

This particular issue is asking with some degree of urgency: How to restore the humanity of all in an age where the forces of dehumanization are on the rise? How do we humanize the conditions of our learning, child-rearing, labour, politics, neighbouring, worship, opining, eating, admiring, hosting, and more? What do we need to name and lament in our particular North American context, and who is leading the way of course-correction?

The State of Our Friendships 40.3 | Summer 2022

The State of Our Friendships 40.3 | Summer 2022

Purchase a single copy of our summer 2022 issue. Upon first blush, friendship doesn’t seem like a particularly rich subject to tackle head-on. Like oxygen or water, it’s so foundational as to be assumed. But maybe that’s part of our problem. Something about the forces buffeting our lives today—unending busyness and a temptation to see relationships as instrumental; geographic mobility and a culture oriented first around work; digital displacement of presence with one another and now a pandemic that has separated us still further—all these and more seem to be rusting this crown of the good life. Fewer and fewer people testify to an experience of true friendship. The definition itself has lost solidity.

So Comment’s going to linger here. We want to know: What are the ingredients of friendship at its most life-giving, and how do you be a good friend? What is the art and skill of seeing another deeply, and allowing oneself to be seen in turn? Where do choice and covenantal commitment collide, and how do we sustain those friendships that may cost us our reputation, stretch our comfort, and themselves change on the tendrils of time?

Remember the Spheres 40.2 | Spring 2022

Remember the Spheres 40.2 | Spring 2022

Purchase a single copy of our spring 2022 issue. The world is not just flat, it’s flattened. Globalization, social media, ever-proliferating confessional pluralism and an erosion in the authority of coherence-lending institutions are just a few of the trends that have together conspired to bulldoze a historical understanding of civil spheres and their attendant norms. College faculty increasingly understand their roles to be those of advocates and activists more than they do as seekers of understanding. Debates around critical theory have spilled into the public domain via hot takes when the tools for using it fruitfully are known only by a trained few. There is widespread cultural confusion over the distinction between public and private, vulnerability and restraint. Churches are defined more by their politics than by their creedal confession. And so on.

In all of this, we no longer seem to be asking that most vital question that gets at directive notions of telos, namely, What is an education for? What is the family for? What is the church for?

This issue seeks to remind us of a toolkit we actually have at our disposal if we but widen our apertures to recognize the multi-dimensional lives most of us actually lead. We are inviting you, our reader, into a rediscovery of the many spheres beckoning for your participation as a way of disrupting the dysfunction we see all around.

The Gift Logic 40.1 | Winter 2022

The Gift Logic 40.1 | Winter 2022

Purchase a single copy of our winter 2022 issue. We tend to think of generosity as a virtue for the privileged, assuming that gifts are a kind of life décor, not something which could live viably at the core. But what if we’re missing out by resigning gifts to the periphery? What if we have sidestepped gift as the truest and most life-giving law there is? Comment is taking this question seriously because the air feels stagnant and so much in our political culture and relational reality is near a snapping point. The winter issue explores: Is a gift economy possible, and what is it, really? How might more real-world experiences of the gift logic shift our ideals of what kind of leadership is needed to serve the commons effectively in our time? What is the texture of formation that has given shape to those who become willing to die so that others might live?

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