With this issue, biblical scholar Luke Timothy Johnson begins writing a year-long series of short essays, called “The Good Word,” emphasizing what is positive and inspiring about contemporary Catholicism (see page 38). Despite the sometimes deep divisions within the church, and the scandal and demoralization caused by the sexual-abuse crisis, Johnson is confident that post-Vatican II Catholicism still feeds our souls, engages our minds, and deepens our appreciation of the larger world in countless ways. We will publish one essay a month in the space at the back of the magazine that is otherwise reserved for “The Last Word.” The series has been made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Johnson, a prolific writer and long-time contributor to Commonweal, is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Among his many books are The Creed and The Real Jesus.