A new feature has appeared on our pages. We call it Profile, and our third installment shows up on page 32 of this issue. It is a close-up look at philosopher Mortimer Adler.
Our premise is simple: All of us enjoy reading about interesting people. So the primary criterion for selecting subjects is that they be interesting. Beyond that, we decided to focus on those who have achieved significant success (or notoriety). In most cases, our profile subjects identify themselves as Christians, though not always of the evangelical variety. We even plan to print a profile of an atheist: the Village Voice’s Nat Henthoff, who defies his fellow liberals’ prochoice agenda.
To give Profile a twist, we’ve asked other interesting people to help conduct the interviews. For example, noted Christian author and teacher R. C. Sproul accompanied former CT executive editor Terry Muck to Adler’s office. For a forthcoming profile of Quaker philosopher Elton Trueblood, sociologist Anthony Campolo asked the questions. And you will soon get a glimpse of humorist Garrison Keillor through the lens of pastor and author Gordon MacDonald.
We plan to nudge our subjects into discussing faith, but in the case of Adler, who is notably reticent about discussing his conversion, a little luck was needed. On the way out of his office, Adler’s secretary casually mentioned that her boss would be preaching the next day at a nearby church. Terry cornered the philosopher during the postservice coffee hour and caught Adler in a more candid mood. Maybe it wasn’t luck, after all.1