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    Editors’ Favorites 2022

    Our editors choose their favorite articles Plough published in 2022.

    December 29, 2022
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    • Larry A. Smith

      Emmanuel Katongole’s “Reviving the Village” (December 16, 2022) provides another way of thinking about economic development and human flourishing, along with his personal example. I am still processing it, convinced that there is much for us to learn from him and his example.

    Alina Meier: My favorite was “The Day My Father Remembered He Met Amelia Earhart” by James Harkin. It’s about memory and memory loss, getting at the truth, the value of life, and, of course, the first transatlantic solo flight by a woman.

    Caitrin Keiper: The idea that it is destructive and immoral to have children is, at the civilizational level, a symptom of despair. Lyman Stone’s “The New Malthusians” argues for the hope of life in the face of danger and difficulty, recounting some strange chapters and hidden ironies of the population-control movement along the way. – By contrast, “Mary’s Song” by Victoria Reynolds Farmer speaks to a different reason for forgoing children and the grief that may come along with it – which the author lays at the feet of Mother Mary and transforms into something maternal and profound. It too is an argument for life and hope.

    Dori Moody: The piece “In the Shoes of the Woman Considering an Abortion” by Kirsten Sanders takes the reader into the mind of a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy: “To decide to bear a child is to nurture what might be and to let go of what might have been.”

    Ian Barth: Reflecting back over the last twelve months in which a lot of things seem to have come down around our ears I’ve returned to the piece “Radical Hope” by Peter Leithart, an encouraging reminder that the Christian life is one of great optimism amid the darkest of troubles.

    Joy Clarkson: I appreciated Eleanor Parker’s “The Sermon of the Wolf” because it reminded me that the world has always felt like it was ending. There is some relief in that realization, but also in the realization that loyalty, faithfulness, and truthfulness have always been required for a meaningful life.

    Maria Hine: The piece that’s been my favorite this past year is Sr. Carino Hodder’s “Demystifying Chastity.” Written as a “dispatch from the trenches,” Sr. Carino reveals the process, both painful and joyful, by which she discovers chastity as a precious gift. The honesty and wisdom of this piece touched me.

    Marianne Wright: This year’s most memorable piece for me is by Esther Maria Magnis, “The Strange Love of a Strange God,” taken from her memoir With or Without Me. It’s a powerful statement of faith in the living God from someone whose doubts and fears are completely recognizable. – Honorable mention to Maureen Swinger’s “Doing Bach Badly,” which is a tribute to loving amateurism and to the sublime music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

    Maureen Swinger: Our children said goodbye to both their great grandmother and a beloved adopted grandfather this year. I read Brandon McGinley’s “Everything Will Not Be OK” several times as our family shared both grief and deep gratitude for lives of grace and faithfulness.

    Peter Mommsen: Men and boys are in crisis, we’re told – but what’s the solution? Not masculinist posturing, writes Alexi Sargeant in “Men of Fidelity,” but rather rediscovering the chivalric virtue of being “the lover of one woman.” This smart and necessary Father’s Day reflection on the quest to be a good husband (and a good dad) is well worth reading at any time of year.

    Sam Hine: True to its name, Plough is at its best talking about our relationship to the soil. Two pieces that reframe those issues creatively and constructively are Ragan Sutterfield’s “What the Weeds Are Telling Us” and Elizabeth Wainwright’s “Will Lab-Grown Meat Save Us?”

    Susannah Black Roberts: The One Who Promises” by King-Ho Leung is that rare magazine essay: one which was an occasion for worship. During the release party for the Vows issue of Plough in London, as King-Ho was discussing the piece, I felt as though I understood more, or again, something about God’s own fidelity to himself, his solidity and trustworthiness in the face of our fragility and uncertainty. And I felt him near me, in that pub in Clerkenwell.

    frozen waterfall in winter

    Kaaterskill Falls, photograph by Britta Wareham. Used by permission.

    Favorite Plough event: What Prison Does to Children

    A former prisoner, a daughter of a prisoner, a police chief, and an activist district attorney discuss the effect of prison on children of prisoners, and what we can do about it.

    Favorite Plough book: With or Without Me: A Memoir of Losing and Finding

    Where is God when your loved one gets cancer? The easy answers are all wrong.

    Favorite PloughCast episode: Velvet Eugenics and Parenting Kids with Down syndrome

    Peter Mommsen and Susannah Black Roberts talk to Rosemarie Garland-Thomson about bioethics and with J. D. Flynn about genetic testing and parenting kids with Down syndrome.

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