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    Plough Quarterly No. 35: Pain & Passion

    Spring 2023


    Featured Articles

    All Articles


    In Search of Solace A pastor who lost a son to cancer probes the problem of pain.


    Where Are the Churches in Canada’s Euthanasia Experiment? Since MAID was legalized, euthanasia is Canada’s sixth leading cause of death. Why are so many Christians silent? Letters from a Vanishing Friend What’s it like to succumb to Alzheimer’s? A woman with dementia befriended me, her teenage neighbor. God’s Purpose in Your Pain What good could suffering possibly serve? A pastor reflects on what he has learned from losing a son to suicide. Saving Friends: What I’ve Learned from Insufferable Patients A difficult patient teaches her doctor a better approach to medicine. The Speaking Tree In an Anglo-Saxon poem, a tree becomes the meeting place of horror and joy. Chinese Christians’ Costly Allegiance A house church pastor imprisoned in China calls Christians to face repression boldly. Baptism Means Leaving Home to Find It How do you make an inherited tradition your own? A young Hutterite reckons with the legacy of his forebears. The Return of the Bison In the Great Plains, scientists and small farmers bring back a mythic beast and a lost ecosystem.


    The Way of the Passion Five readings from across the centuries illuminate the meaning of suffering in Christian discipleship. The Communion of Empty Hands The beloved Uruguayan author portrays an Easter service behind bars.


    Poem: “Zeal” Oh, to imagine I’m shielding You, when You’re / secure as a chant in a red hymnal, / hope of our eyes. … Poem: “Winter” Boris Dralyuk translates a poem by the Russian poet Julia Nemirovskaya: “Here it is, my dearest winter, / dearer than the fall or spring…”

    Editors’ Picks

    Editors’ Picks: Demon Copperhead Barbara Kingsolver’s novel reimagines a Dickens classic in 1990s Appalachia. Editors’ Picks: How to Inhabit Time In part personal memoir, in part philosophical reflection, James K. A. Smith’s How to Inhabit Time is a compelling read. Editors’ Picks: Faith, Hope and Carnage Nick Cave’s and Seán O’Hagan’s Faith, Hope and Carnage is a record of an unabashed longing for God.

    Family and Friends

    The Gift of Palliative Care The Hawthorne Sisters serve terminal cancer patients, offering palliative care in the spirit of their founder. Transforming Food In northeast England, a small band of dumpster divers has become a driving force for food rescue and redistribution.


    On Planting Sugar Maples How do you pass on a legacy, and how do you receive one?


    Felix Manz: The Making of a Young Radical In a city astir with dangerous new ideas, the son of a priest becomes a leader of a nonviolent revolution.


    Letters from Readers Readers respond to Plough’s Winter 2023 issue, Generations.


    Two Thousand Years of Christian Strangeness A podcasting scholar sums up the history of pain in two artworks and the lives of three illustrious women.


    The Dust on All the Faces In south Madagascar, farming families battle to survive a lethal drought caused by climate change.

    Covering the Cover

    Covering the Cover: Pain and Passion An eloquent sculpture evokes the themes in this issue: the redemptive nature of suffering, and the hope implicit in the Easter story.

    Featured Authors

    cover of Plough Quarterly Issue 35

    About This Issue

    Pain is inevitable. Almost everyone is living with some kind of pain, whether the cause is physical, emotional, financial, social, or spiritual. A desire to escape it has led thousands of Canadians to seek euthanasia, and countless others into opioid addiction. What can we learn from people around the world for whom pain is a fact of life? How can we help others bear their pain? How might the wisdom of earlier eras help us? What answers does faith offer?