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    detail from the front cover of Plough Quarterly 18: The Art of Community

    Plough Quarterly No. 18: The Art of Community

    Autumn 2018


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    The Art of Community Can art convey both beauty and truth? Editor Peter Mommsen takes on modern skepticism and ancient Christian artistic aims.


    Warriors on Stage A veteran asks if theater can help heal the moral injury of soldiers returning home from the battlefield. The Beauty of Belonging Wherever people build, decorate, and shape things with a view to belonging, a kind of order emerges. It Could Be Anyone A Muslim writer contends with two Christian paintings: an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary, and Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew. All About Light If an icon is about anything at all, it is firstly about light. Why We Live in Community: A Manifesto Liberal capitalism has forgotten to ask fundamental questions about how we are to live: questions about justice, freedom, and community. The Sacred Bonds of Sound Have the sounds of worship been lost in translation? Sarah Ruden on the importance of silence and sound in scripture. Making Music for Community With music in her heart and an array of people ready to sing, this 92-year-old composer has found a life of fulfillment in community. A Man of Honor People with same-sex attraction who want to follow Jesus may be among the most important witnesses of our time.


    Making a Work of Art Each great artist’s vision sprang from the conviction that life could be better, richer, and truer than it was. The Business of the Artist The church should use a decent humility before the artist, whose business it is to serve God in his own technique and not in somebody else’s. The Creative Process The artist must never cease warring with society, for its sake and for his own, to show the loneliness of birth, suffering, love, and death.


    I Did Not Leave Poet Cozine Welch Jr. takes us behind bars to look – truly look – at the men who stand in the prison common room.


    Editor’s Picks Issue 18 Plough’s editors share their best reads of recent weeks. This issue (Plough Quarterly No. 18, Autumn 2018) they feature books by Eliza Griswold, Alissa Quart, Nathan Englander, and Eugene Vodolazkin.

    Family and Friends

    Family and Friends: Issue 18 News from Plough’s family and friends around the world: forgiveness in South Sudan, and peace-building in Colombia.

    Another View

    Giant Picnic An anonymous installation artist held a picnic at a giant table that spanned the border fence between Mexico and California. His table had eyes…


    Excerpt: Mandela and the General Will the freedom struggle end in a bloodbath? Only two men can avert it…

    Community Snapshot

    Summer of the Tree House What was your childhood dream house? Join one family in a summer adventure as they build their own Tolkien-inspired tree house.


    Readers Respond: Issue 18 Readers respond to our summer issue, discussing addiction, transgenderism, and what it means to be human.


    Return to Appalachia When funding cuts endanger the arts program in their Appalachian hometown, two graduates of Parsons School of Design return to teach art in a barn.


    Insights on Beauty Insights on the nature of beauty, from Jacques Maritain, Dorothy Day, Basil of Caesarea, and Annie Dillard.


    Wassily Kandinsky Using the remedies of color and shape, Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky wanted to bring about spiritual restoration.

    Covering the Cover

    Covering the Cover: The Art of Community A closer look at the cover for Plough Quarterly 18.

    Featured Authors

    front cover of Plough Quarterly 18: The Art of Community

    About This Issue

    These days criticism of art – whether visual, musical, or literary – is often marked by a suspicion of beauty. What happened to the belief that the creativity of the artist reflects the creativity of the Maker of heaven and earth, and that art can therefore be a channel for divine truth? Anyone who has joined with others to sing Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion or stood before a painting by Raphael or Chagall can attest to this. At such moments, art binds people together. This issue of Plough focuses on art that leads to such community: through theater, painting, music, and the objects and architecture of everyday life. And while art fosters community, building community is itself a work of creativity.