Books & Culture

Last updated
Books & Culture
EditorJohn Wilson
Categories Literary magazines, Christianity
Circulation 11,000
First issueSeptember 1995 (1995-09)
Final issue
November 2016 (2016-11)
Vol 22 No 6
Company Christianity Today International
CountryUnited States
Based in Carol Stream, Illinois
ISSN 1082-8931
OCLC 32609725

Books & Culture: A Christian Review (B&C) was a bimonthly book review journal published by Christianity Today International from 1995 to 2016. [1] The journal was launched a year after the publication of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A. Noll, and it sought to address that scandal by providing a vehicle for Christian intellectual engagement with ideas and culture, modeled on the New York Review of Books. [2] It was launched and subsidized through its early years with the help of grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts. [3] John Wilson edited the publication and Noll and Philip Yancey served as cochairs of the editorial board. [4]

While the publisher and the majority of Books & Culture's writers were evangelical, the magazine was not limited to evangelical perspectives. "Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, and a few nonbelievers" could be found among the publication's contributors, according to the New York Times . [2] In 2000, Alan Wolfe observed in The Atlantic that "In addition to evangelicals, figures as diverse as the economist Glenn C. Loury; the historian Eugene Genovese; Richard Bernstein, of New School University; and the novelist Larry Woiwode have written for the magazine, which has featured interviews with Stanley Crouch, Adam Michnik, and Francis Fukuyama." [5]

Books & Culture was considered "the leading journal of evangelical Protestant engagement with the scholarly disciplines and the arts" [6] and enjoyed a loyal following among both self-styled evangelical intellectuals and the wider publishing industry, [7] [8] but it was never financially self-sustaining. [9] [3] In 2013 it narrowly avoided closure through a Twitter-driven fundraising push that secured sufficient donations and pledges to keep the magazine afloat into the following year and beyond. [10] Wilson speculated in an interview after the closure was announced that it might have been easier to attract donors if the magazine had functioned as "sort of a culture war vehicle," but that had never been the vision of the publication. [3]

In the Books & Culture podcast, Wilson regularly highlighted other periodicals that he believed would appeal to readers of Books & Culture, including The Other Journal, The Englewood Review of Books, and Image. [11] Commentators discussing the demise of Books & Culture identified these and other publications that might be considered successors to the journal, such as Mars Hill Audio Journal , Touchstone , and Sojourners . [9] [12] In December 2016, it was announced that Wilson would be editing a new publication starting in spring 2017 called Education & Culture; [13] that online-only review ceased publication in October 2017. [14]

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  1. "About B&C". n.d. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  2. 1 2 Steinfels, Peter (September 3, 2005). "Provocative and Open-Minded, an Evangelical Journal Celebrates 10 Years of Breaking Stereotypes". New York Times via ProQuest Central.
  3. 1 2 3 "Should Evangelical Intellectuals Despair 'Books and Culture's' Demise?". Christianity Today. October 20, 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  4. "Masthead". Books & Culture. November–December 2016.
  5. Wolfe, Alan (October 2000). "The Opening of the Evangelical Mind". The Atlantic. 286.4: 55ff.
  6. Torode, Sam (2014). "Books & Culture". In Frohnen, Bruce; Beer, Jeremy; Jeffrey, Nathan (eds.). American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Open Road Media. ISBN   1497651573.
  7. Jacobs, Alan (October 11, 2016). "John Wilson and Books & Culture". Snakes and Ladders. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  8. Coddington, Mark (Oct 14, 2016). "What Books & Culture Meant". Medium. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  9. 1 2 Schmalzbauer, John (January 12, 2017). "The Life and Death of Evangelicalism's Little Magazine". Comment. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  10. Bailey, Sarah Pulliam (September 9, 2013). "Books & Culture survives financial crisis". The Christian Century.
  11. Wilson, John (October 20, 2014) "the other journal: Everyday theology"; (August 18, 2014) "Rooted Hope for the Church: The Englewood Review of Books"; (August 5, 2013) "A New Look for Image: With the same great content as always." Books & Culture Podcast.
  12. Loftus, Matthew (October 20, 2016). "After Books and Culture: 9 Ways to Share the Cost of Cultural Engagement". Christ and Pop Culture. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  13. "John Wilson of Books & Culture at Christianity Today to join". The Best Schools. December 9, 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  14. "Endings and Education & Culture » Education & Culture". Education & Culture. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2018-01-21.[ permanent dead link ]