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Editors' Note - May 2018

posted May 8, 2018, 1:42 PM by RSO The Fenwick Review

           Dear Reader,

We have come, at last, to the end of the year at Holy Cross—another semester, another sequence of months, an arbitrary measurement of elapsed time.  But it is far more than that, as you invariably knew we’d say. It’s the end of a time together, by turns terribly stressful, thrillingly contentious, and wondrously exhilarating. So too this year, for this publication.  A sponsored lecture in Rehm Library, a published interview with a prominent public intellectual, six issues, a substantially expanded readership, a growing list of alumni supporters.  As one of our predecessors put it, “All in all, not a bad run.”

The Fenwick Review has been around for twenty-nine years.  When it was founded, publications like this one had been springing up for a decade across the country. Many of the social changes of the last few years were inconceivable.  Much of that has changed.  Iraq and Afghanistan discredited the neocons; social conservatives have lost on most of the issues they ever cared about; the neoliberal economics of Hayek and Friedman, once conservative bread and butter, now face increasing criticism from the Right, and particularly from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  Does a magazine built on this synthesis still have anything credible to say?

We believe we do.  “Traditional Catholic principles and conservative ideas” are perhaps less popular in academia today than they were thirty years ago, but they aren’t any less relevant.  Thirty years ago, the Right was all about freedom. While the contemporary left might claim the banner of liberation, it continues to fundamentally undermine the authentic sense of freedom.  It isn’t merely a political problem, either: the de rigeur understanding of human beings is extremely toxic in this regard.

That is precisely where this magazine becomes important. We’ve taken our stands in defence of life, conscience, and religion.  We’ve published cultural criticism and spiritual reflections. We’ve touched frequently on contemporary politics, particularly on the relationship of freedom and the common good.  All of these resist the identitarian flattening of human beings into acronyms or protest movements. All of them communicate the freedom and the dignity of every human person.  In our lives on this hill and beyond it, there are truths to be discovered, and choices to be made. We have to seek them freely, and make them truly.  We hope that we have sometimes helped to do that.

Petite Veritatem,

Claude Hanley ‘18

William Christ ‘18

Editors in Chief