Posted by: gcarkner | October 29, 2012

First Things: a Unique Journal

  ( is an ecumenical journal focused on creating a “religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society”.[1] The journal is inter-denominational and inter-religious, representing a broad intellectual tradition of Christian and Jewish critique of contemporary society. Published by the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life,[2] it is published monthly, except for bi-monthly issues covering June/July and August/September. Newsweek called First Things “the most important vehicle for exploring the tangled web of religion and society in the English-speaking world.”[3]


First Things was founded in 1990 by Richard John Neuhaus, a prominent Lutheran minister and writer, who converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood shortly after the journal’s founding. Fr. Neuhaus served as the journal’s editor-in-chief until his death in 2009 and wrote a regular column called, “The Public Square.” He started the journal after his connection with the Rockford Institute was severed.[4]


With a circulation of approximately 30,000 subscribers, First Things is considered to be influential in its articulation of a broadly ecumenical and erudite social and political conservatismGeorge Weigel, a sometime contributor, wrote that after its founding in the early 1990s, First Things “quickly became, under [Neuhaus’s] leadership and inspiration, the most important vehicle for exploring the tangled web of religion and society in the English-speaking world.”[3] Ross Douthat wrote that, through First Things, Neuhaus demonstrated “that it was possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Christian.”[5]

Also see CRUX Magazine from Regent College

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