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    Plough Quarterly No. 38: Repair

    Winter 2024


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    In Praise of Repair Culture Modern life depends on the habit of discarding things. What if we fixed them instead?


    To Mend a Farm A restored landscape will be more than it was before, bearing the marks of damage and repair. Heaven Meets Earth In the birth of Christ, God comes to restore and set free every person and all creation. Three Pillars of Education In the Bruderhof, as in any society, we see how children flourish when family, school, and community align. Zero Episcopalians A young minister in a declining church looks for reasons to hope. Architecture for Humans Can people live in hope if their homes and places of work do not nurture and celebrate life? Ifs Eternally The “if” is what any honest faith looks like in this life.

    Personal History

    Not Everything Can Be Fixed Perhaps some things can’t be repaired, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.


    Repairing Relationships Four writers reflect on the restorative power of personal forgiveness. Yielding to God The Christ Child is born in the poverty of our hearts.


    Poem: “Andy Mayhew, Author of the Sonnets of Shakespeare” Love and love sonnet, both botched. Poem: “Daedalus” Remember, even eagles have an upper bound.


    Hunger In this story set in 1990s Armenia, survivors of war find a reason to go on living.

    Editors’ Picks

    Salvaging Beauty from the Ruins Danielle Chapman’s Holler tells a story that in a way belongs to all of us. On Motherhood and Climate Change Without glorifying community or motherhood, Elizabeth Rush’s The Quickening brings these things into the conversation on climate change. An Octopus, a Septuagenarian, and a Millennial Shelby Van Pelt’s Remarkably Bright Creatures portrays how rich life can be when we nurture meaningful connections with one another.

    Family and Friends

    My Liberal Arts Education in Prison Studying the humanities while incarcerated restored my trust in humanity. One Parish One Prisoner Underground Ministries is pioneering a program to match former inmates with local churches for ongoing support and friendship. What’s a Repair Café? A repair café is a neighborhood meeting place where you can repair your things with the help of volunteers.

    Community Snapshot

    Analog Hero One man’s quest to fix the world, one toaster at a time.


    Letters from Readers Readers respond to Plough’s Autumn 2023 issue, The Enemy


    Just Your Handyman Some people build skyscrapers. I address that damp spot on your kitchen ceiling. The Joy of Mending Jeans A mom makes mended clothes beautiful.


    Making Art to Mend Culture Creative art is about imagining the future as it could be.


    Portraits of Survival In Tears of Gold, a new art book from Plough, Hannah Rose Thomas gives voice to women who have survived violence in forgotten corners of the world.


    The Home You Carry with You A church that prays in the language of Jesus, scattered by war, lives on in many new places.


    The Sacred Sounds of Hildegard of Bingen In music, art, medicine, and spiritual writings, Hildegard of Bingen sought to express “the sacred sound through which all creation resounds.”

    Covering the Cover

    Covering the Cover: Repair A darning sampler illustrates the care-filled work of repair.

    Featured Authors

    front cover of Plough Quarterly Issue 38

    About This Issue

    Consumers campaign for a “right to repair” in protest of products’ wasteful “planned obsolescence.” Repair cafés spring up, in which old-timers teach greenhorns to mend clothes and appliances. But much more than our possessions stand in need of repair. For some, the Jewish phrase tikkun olam – to repair the world – may have become little more than a secular social justice mandate, not unlike the Christian cliché “God has no hands but ours.” Yet while we wait on God to repair the cosmos, there are indeed countless ways one can participate in this work, whether one is a mother, a handyman, a farmer, an artist, a teacher, or a pastor. The work may not be glamorous, but it calls forth our creativity and holds its own rewards.