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Letter from the Editor

In the summer of 1994, a couple of weeks after I'd arrived in the Midwest, Mickey Maudlin—who was then the managing editor of Christianity Today magazine—introduced me to Robert Hosack, who was then an editor for a Wheaton-based publisher. A little over three years later, Bob took a job with Baker Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has been ever since. We do our best to see each other a couple of times a year—he tells me about interesting books that are coming down the road, we talk about promising younger writers, and so on.

Several years ago, Bob told me about a series he was hatching with Joel Carpenter, director of Calvin College's Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity. (Joel, as many of you may know, played a critical part in bringing BOOKS & CULTURE into existence; he was then in charge of the religion program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, a grant from which enabled the launch of the magazine.) The series, called Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity, was conceived to offer "reflections by eminent Christian scholars who have turned their attention and commitments toward the global South and East. In order to inspire and move the rising generation of Christian scholars in the Northern Hemisphere to engage the thought world and issues of the global South more vigorously, the series books highlight such reorientations and ask what the implications of 'turning South' are for Christian thought and creativity in a variety of cultural fields."

There are plenty of ways such a program can go off the rails, as a quick sampling of discourse on "the global South" will attest. (How easy it is for us, with our incorrigible twistiness, to turn a liberating insight into a smug party line!) But the first three books of the Turning South series beautifully fulfill its promise. The first book to appear was Nicholas Wolterstorff's Journey Toward Justice: Personal ...

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