Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christian New Age Quarterly

Christian New Age Quarterly
Winter ‘09, spring ‘10, summer ‘10, autumn ‘10
Pob 276
Clifton, NJ 07015-0276

As the title suggests these are essays and stories centered on the Christian religion and New Age philosophies. When I got these in my mailbox I was a little taken aback. I am used to getting punk rock, anarchist, and weird art zines in the mail. This is the first time I’ve gotten anything like this and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My initial instinct was to write it off as religious garbage, kick out a few Marx and Sam Clemens quotes, and call it a day. But after reading these journals, I found myself surprisingly engaged and interested. These are very well written essays that explore many of the current national issues with regards to religion and politics in a way that doesn’t come across preachy. One of the standout essays for me was from the Autumn ’10 issue where the editor, Catherine, explores the issue of a mosque being built near ground zero, correlating it with the essential American ideal of freedom, and how hypocritical and misguided the bible-thumping quran-burners are. I don’t want a mosque built there either, but nor do I want a church or religious temple of any kind built there. I would prefer instead the money be spent on secular community centers, boys & girls clubs, or a used bookstore. That being said, I do think that Muslims have the right to build it anywhere they want in America. This is the kind of internal dialogue that the Christian New Age Quarterly sparked in me while reading them.