Not So Lonely Anymore
Right after the turn of the year, the New Oxford Review will be 10 years old. As I contemplate where we’ve been and where we’re going, as well as the current needs of the NOR, my thoughts turn, oddly enough, to another magazine which has just been born.
Is this a crazy way to talk about the NOR? I think not, for to look at the first issue of Tikkun magazine is to realize that the rather lonely voice of the NOR is not so lonely anymore.
To be sure, the NOR has several soul-mates: one immediately thinks of the National Catholic Register, The Reformed Journal, The Catholic Worker, Italy’s 30 Giorni, and a few others. But there is something unique about Tikkun’s relation to the NOR — both uniquely different and uniquely the same. As for the former, Tikkun is a Jewish magazine and the NOR is Catholic. But as for the latter, Tikkun is not only for Jews and the NOR is not only for Catholics. Moreover, Tikkun and the NOR are both products of a general religious renewal, and are affected by the similar experiences of their editors. Indeed, Tikkun’s Editor, Michael Lerner, has said on more than one occasion that a primary inspiration for the founding of Tikkun came from the NOR. I report this, and what follows, at the risk of indulging in self-congratulation, but the full story cannot be told otherwise.
Curiously, in 1966 Michael Lerner was my Teaching Assistant in a philosophy course at the University of California at Berkeley. (I didn’t see him again until last summer at a reception held at the NOR offices for local Bay Area subscribers honoring three special friends of the NOR: James J. Thompson Jr., Robert N. Bellah, and John T. Noonan Jr.) Both Michael and I were active in the Free Speech Movement on the Berkeley campus in 1964 — but, as it turned out, uneasily so. In the intervening years, both of us have seen our religious concerns become central.
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