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Letter from the Editors - December 2017

posted Dec 29, 2017, 4:56 PM by RSO The Fenwick Review

Dear Reader,

Thank you for picking up a copy of The Fenwick Review.

Back in late September, The Fenwick Review co-sponsored a lecture by R.R. Reno, the editor of First Things, entitled “A Christian Interpretation of the Age of Trump.”  Dr. Reno observed that the election of President Trump attests to the breakdown of the liberal postwar consensus.  He noted the once-prevailing tendency for  Conservatives and Liberals to agree that deconsolidation and greater fluidity were positive good; their disagreements arose merely over what spheres that deconsolidation ought to affect.  Today, the talk of walls, border, and “America First” on the Right makes the same point as the left’s fascination with cultural appropriation and the popularity of Bernie Sanders on the Left: Enough of deconsolidation; Americans want something stable to hold on to.  Dr. Reno has argued that liberalism is dying.  His lecture aimed to provide a Christian version of what should come next.  

In connection with his lecture, Dr. Reno agreed to an interview with The Fenwick Review about the state of higher education in the United States.  It is our privilege to publish the full text of that interview in this issue.   The interview, conducted for The Fenwick Review by Mr. Hanley, ranges from general questions about the purpose of universities in America, to the particular challenges of free speech and intellectual diversity, to questions about the unique mission of Catholic higher education.  We are grateful to Dr. Reno for offering his insights, which we hope will prompt deep reflection on the nature and purpose of our four years on Mount Saint James.

This issue also features a balanced set of essays on both Catholicism and American politics.  Most prominently, Mr. Christ and Mr. Ciolek offer two different perspectives on the issue of gun control legislation in the United States.  In the wake of shootings in Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas, their comments on the morality and constitutionality of gun legislation are particularly important.  Mr. Dooley critiques the viewpoint behind a number of recent College-wide lectures, that Catholics ought to simply compromise with the Democratic party on the issue of abortion.  Elsewhere, Mr. Garry offers a scathing take on the notion of a “right” to healthcare, and the poverty of moral discourse which such a notion reflects.  Mr. Rosenwinkel makes a few remarks on evangelization and sanctity.  Finally, the editors note with happiness that Mr. Connolly’s poetry has finally returned to our pages.

We hope you find the reading insightful and engaging.  We certainly did.

Petite Pulchritudinem.

Claude Hanley and Bill Christ