I was the first person to see Agnieszka Tennant's résumé in the fall of 2000. I could tell immediately I was reading about a young woman who, with steady coaching, would blossom into a savvy, witty, and creative editor and writer for CT.
I was wrong: It didn't take all that much coaching.
This month's cover story on Russia is just another example of her hard-nosed reporting and elegant use of the English language (quite a tribute to someone for whom English is a second language). For Agnieszka, of course, it's not about her talents. It's about Christ's church in the world. Regarding her Russian trip, she told me:
What astounded me is the way the Russian state has recently begun to favor the Russian Orthodox Church at the expense of discriminating against other faiths. Often the people who pay the price are Russians on the margins of societyorphans or stigmatized people with aidswho certainly cannot count on the state for help and who are now increasingly cut off from the stability that nonprofits bring into their lives.
The problem with hiring such talent is that talented people are restless. They want to go where no woman has gone before (and other such clichés that Agnieszka would never let survive her purple pen). I'm sorry to announce that Agnieszka will be leaving CT. She'll begin studies at the University of Chicago, where she'll be working with Jean Bethke Elshtain exploring, as she puts it, "Why in such a devoutly churchgoing country as my motherland, Poland, is corruption so much more prevalent than in the supposedly atheistic countries of Northern Europe?" She also hopes to figure out whether religious institutions have been able to curb corruption in various countries, and how.
She told ...1
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