…for the past 24 years I have edited Image, a journal that publishes literature and art concerned with the faith traditions of the West. Our instinct when launching the publication was that the narrative of decline was misguided, but we honestly didn’t know if we could fill more than a few issues.
Sometimes when you look, you find. Over the years Image has featured many believing writers, including Annie Dillard, Elie Wiesel, Christian Wiman, Marilynne Robinson and Mark Helprin. But these writers of religious faith and others are not hard to find elsewhere. Several prominent American authors””Franz Wright, Mary Karr and Robert Clark””are Catholic converts. Nathan Englander and Jonathan Safran Foer last year published “New American Haggadah,” a contemporary take on the ritual book used by Jews on Passover.
In short, the myth of secularism triumphant in the literary arts is just that””a myth. Yet making lists of counterexamples does not get at a deeper matter. It has to do with the way that faith takes on different tones and dimensions depending on the culture surrounding it.