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In February of 2015, I received a note from Robert Wilken informing me that I had been elected to the board of directors at the Institute on Religion and Public Life, publisher of First Things. Since then, I have been intimately involved with the magazine—not just as a writer, but as someone with a personal and institutional investment in the success and mission of First Things

These last seven years have been eventful. From Donald Trump’s election in 2016 to the pandemic of the past few years, from government mandates to runaway inflation, the world is full of turbulence and drama. In our confusing times, First Things aims to offer clarity, providing serious cultural commentary and moral insight into what Russell Kirk so aptly called “the permanent things.”

As a young First Things reader, I found it both consoling and inspiring to be part of a community of people who believed, as I did, that the Christian faith is both beautiful and true. The magazine’s writers reassured me that traditions were positive goods—not harmful and worthy of rejection. And many of its writers, then and now, masterfully interweave everyday experiences with profound political and philosophical insights that can change one’s life in practical, tangible ways. Go read Meilaender’s essay “I Want To Burden My Loved Ones” from 1991, or the poem “Mother’s Day” by Catherine Chandler from 2006, and see for yourself. These articles, though published many years ago, remain relevant and compelling today.

Now, as a writer for the magazine, I hope to likewise remind our readers that the permanent things, such as love, worship, liberal learning, and friendship, remain permanent. Thirty-two years ago, at the magazine’s inception, our country was already on a path toward cultural revolution. We’ve gone far down that path since then. But it’s important to take the long view on these things. As a college teacher, I’m encouraged by the young people I meet who don’t desire revolution but want to form families and live faithful lives. First Things continues to speak to them, and to me. 

Please join us in this endeavor by donating to our spring campaign. 

Elizabeth C. Corey is associate professor of political science in the honors program at Baylor University.

Help First Things expand our community of co-laborers by supporting our 2022 Spring Campaign with a tax-deductible gift today.

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Photo by Alice Chodura via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

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