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.
From the artist: “Unlike the traditional St. Anthony, the demons we wage our spiritual battles against are not the grotesque, medieval monsters but the familiar, commonplace false idols we make in the image of ourselves, our communities, and the cultural liturgies we act out. Familiarity disarms us and makes us more malleable and posable, making […]
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