Welcome to the Caelum et Terra blog, where I hope some of the editors and writers of that late magazine will gather to continue the discussion we started there. I’ve consulted Daniel Nichols (the editor), Julianne Wiley, and a couple of other people who all agreed that it was a nice idea, but none of us wanted to invest the time and money (little enough of that required, of course, but still an inhibitor). As of now I am using the basic TypePad service, which allows only one author, so I will be the one actually posting material, but I hope and expect to hear from the others regularly, and all contributions will be plainly attributed. And naturally I would like to see a vigorous trade in comments.
What was C&T about? During the six or so years it was published, from roughly 1990 till 1996, I don’t know that even the founding editors could have given a clear or at least a simple answer to that question. To put it as broadly as possible, though, I think we all agreed in our desire to think about and to lay the groundwork for a culture rooted in the Christian faith. Being Catholics, and very conscious of what we believe to be very significant differences between Protestantism and Catholicism, we believed that these theological differences would play out rather differently in culture, and it was this Catholic thing that we wanted to explore. Yet we intended to be open to other traditions, and although we lamented the eclipse of hard-won Catholic wisdom we tried not to indulge in a too-sentimental view of a Catholic past that was of course, like the Catholic present and the Catholic future, never what it should have been.
Let me just free-associate for a moment: our vision was (and is) mystical, contemplative, distributist, agrarian, sacramental, ecumenical, aesthetic, traditionalist, and progressive. Note the last two: there are significant political differences among us, but we all believe that the Catholic faith is simultaneously the most conservative and the most revolutionary force on earth. And we agree that there really is a culture of death growing in the world, and that Christianity naturally tends toward the development of a culture of life.
That will be enough for now. The blog page is live but empty at the moment, and I need to put something out there. You can find out more about the magazine here, where a number of essays from it are archived.
As I learn more about the options available in TypePad, I expect to modify the design of this page. Please email me with any opinions as to readability (or leave them in the comments). I have serious doubts about this light type on dark background, but most of the other templates were worse (C&T somehow is not meant to be viewed in pastels). Comments are open.