ON-Lion Letter
With its March 2010 issue, First Things magazine celebrates its 20th anniversary.  "The first meaning of First Things is that, for the sake of both religion and public life, religion must be given priority," according to the editorial with which the premiere issue began, reprinted in the anniversary issue.

"In these pages the reader will find items that report, analyze, instruct, warn, exhort, and sometimes entertain.  But the key word is conversation.  A real conversation, as distinct from intellectual chatter, is marked by discipline and continuity," the original editorial concluded.  "[W]e intend to take on the questions of today and tomorrow, but always in conversation with the best that has been thought and said in the past.

"At every historical moment, the contemporary is afflicted by the crippling conceit of its utter novelty.  We hope First Things will be an antidote to that intellectual and moral disease."

The anniversary issue then also reprints selections from First Things' first 20 years -- including, among many others, its current editor Joseph Bottum's "Christians and Postmoderns" in February 1994, Midge Decter's "Farewell to the Woman Question" in June/July 1991, and Russell Hittinger's "Abortion Before Roe" in October 1994.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Institute on Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things.
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