Flesh Made Word: Five Lit Mags Defined by Christian Faith
by Chris Wiewiora
Faith is a touchy subject to talk about, let alone write about. The following five magazines don’t preach, but instead project both their belief as well as their doubt. They publish stories, essays, poems, and interviews as well as feature art with a Christian foundation.
IMAGE blends and brings together Christianity and contemporary culture. Their mission states that religion and art need each other. Why? Because both need to take a form to make something out of the raw material of life. This magazine challenges both believers and non-believers by finding fresh ways for the imagination to embody religious truth and religious experience.
The Other Journal converges belief and culture. Not only does the magazine publish creative writing, but additionally, they feature articles, essays, and interviews on theology; art exhibits and portfolios; reviews of academic books, literature, music, and films; and they promote social justice via highlighting movers and shakers in the activism community as well as encouraging activism. The Other Journal also runs a parallel-themed book press and hosts a lecture series.
Relief’s goal is to pursue a complete picture of Christ and life—real, gritty, painful, wonderful. There’s no pulled punches in this magazine; there’s explicit language and raw situations that exhibit honest discoveries of truth. A definition of the word “relief” offers what a reader can expect from the magazine: peace that passes understanding.
Rock & Sling hinges on one word: “witness.” The editors call for the magazine’s writers to engage both aesthetics and morals, because writing should express more than just experiences and responses, but additionally it should add to an active language of faith. Thus, the magazine’s writing captivates readers with a clear responsibility to testify.
Ruminate seeks to chew the cud; to muse; to meditate; to think again; to ponder by publishing grappling pleas as well as the quiet assurances of an authentic faith. The writing weaves together the complexities of hope and doubt in daily life. In addition to a wide breath of words, the magazine also ushers in visual art of all kinds, including an inaugural contest. With all its work, the magazine—like all these faith-based magazines—provides stimulation, encouragement, and community.
Chris Wiewiora is a MFA student at Iowa State University’s Creative Writing and Environment program where he is the managing editor of Flyway. He mostly writes nonfiction, which has been published in Under the Gum Tree, nerve, MAKE, Swink, and more than a dozen other magazines. He is a regular contributor to the Good Men Project. Read more at www.chriswiewiora.com