Fare Forward is a recently launched journal whose masthead announces it as a “Christian review of ideas.” Staffed by a small team of students and recent college graduates, the name “is taken from ‘The Dry Salvages’, the third quartet of T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece, Four Quartets. ‘The Dry Salvages’ is a reflection on time, eternity, and humanity’s place in between. We chose our name to reflect this awareness of the transhistorical, incarnational nature of human experience and to affirm our commitment to acknowledging both the richness of Christian tradition and our faith’s vital creativity.” Its editor-in-chief, Peter Blair, penned an “On the Square” column for us in July.
In any event, do visit the website. While some of the subjects covered may be familiar to regular readers of First Things, all of it is well-written, as the review of Jeffrey Eugenides’ newest novel or the engagement with Stanley Fish’s vision of a purified, benignly “useless” university demonstrate. Other pieces do tread rarer domains. There’s a provocative article on how mental illness might become redemptive suffering; a meditative piece on the need for stillness and contemplation in American public life (and probing why many of our “spiritual geniuses” like Emerson or Robert Frost—”those who grew deeply acquainted with stillness–have not emerged in a traditional Christian context”); another examines the meaning of Drake’s hip-hop (he ”speaks to a postmodern generation burnt out on hedonism and moralism and comfortable with conflicting identities”).
As with any new venture, there are bound to be faster-than-usual changes in the first few issues, so it will be interesting to see how the content and editorial line develop. But I know I’ll be paying attention.