Gregory Wolfe is publisher and editor of what Annie Dillard calls "one of the best journals on the planet," Image journal. Wolfe is also writer-in-residence at Seattle Pacific University, and author and editor of a number of books including Malcolm Muggeridge: A Biography, Sacred Passion: The Art of William Schickel and his latest collection of editorial statements from Image called, Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Art, Faith, and Mystery.
Wolfe has published essays, reviews, and articles in numerous journals, including Commonweal, First Things, National Review, Crisis, Modern Age, and New Oxford Review. He was educated as a political conservative, but Wolfe's love for literature led him to pursue an M.A. in English literature from Oxford University before founding Image in 1989.
You talk about some of the standards that were set for Image journal: aesthetic excellence, the public square, and a place where those who are settled in their religious faith and struggling with religious faith would find a home. What is the importance of putting all that together?
We looked very carefully at past efforts in this area, and we were very disheartened by the temptation of many Christians to create what I would call a subculture, and to create a Christian ghetto where there is some separate track of publishing companies and record labels, which have some good housekeeping stamp of approval on them. The danger of that realm of safety is that people are not challenged to live up to their highest, not pushed towards the bleeding edge of life and experience and artistic excellence. Preaching to the choir becomes the name of the game.
As far as the whole issue of those who are more settled in their faith and those who I call grapplers—I ...