I was dismayed to realize this morning that I had forgotten to link to this Seattle Times feature on Greg and Suzanne Wolfe, the minds and hearts behind the extraordinary Image journal.

Image is probing rather than preachy. That’s because the Wolfes, both authors in their own right, take pleasure not in fighting the culture wars but in blurring the battle lines.

The journal is a showcase for the idea that you can find salvation in high art, beauty in deep faith and common ground in quiet reflection.

The first issue of Image was published by Christendom College in Virginia in 1989, when the Wolfes were on the faculty. It featured a stylized image of a pregnant Virgin Mary that caused an uproar among administrators on the conservative campus. Suzanne lost her job as dean of women at the school for reasons that Greg attributed to her association with the controversial publication. In protest, he resigned.

It was a major turning point for the couple.

“That episode — while it was painful — got us thinking about how religious faith relates to culture and how a mature grown-up understands the way art grapples with serious human issues,” Greg said. The couple performed freelance work and other jobs, while also publishing Image when funding permitted, before SPU recruited them five years ago. Today SPU publishes the journal, and the Wolfes say the campus has been supportive.

“In terms of content and production values, Image ranks with the best literary journals in the country,” SPU English Department Chairman Mark Walhout said. “It’s a wonderful venue for those who are interested in exploring faith though literature and the arts, whether they identify with the Judeo-Christian tradition — as the editors do — or consider themselves religious doubters or ‘seekers.’ “

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