Letter from the Editor: The Frame of Reflection

As the lengthened days of summer pull back the perceptual curtain to reveal the vibrant colours of existence that surround us, it is also the season when the editorial staff at Transpositions takes its customary annual break from publishing. This time of repose affords the opportunity for all of us to conduct further research, to travel, and to attend to various personal and professional commitments.

Over the past two and a half years, I have had the distinct honour and privilege to be entrusted with the role of Senior Editor for this online journal. It has been an immense pleasure to make a small contribution in our endeavour to publish articles and reviews that reflect the important research being conducted by the staff and students within the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA), as well as to engage in a more broad conversation with individuals throughout the world who are looking at the ways in which theology and the arts interface with one another. Throughout this time, we have had contributions from wonderful scholars and artists who have a passion for this work and who have opened a further window onto our view of a reality that is permeated with divine disclosures.

In my capacity, I have stood on the shoulders of editorial giants–both past and present–who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our publication schedule remained consistent and permeated with a sense of quality scholarship. It is a testament to this hard work that we have seen a consistent and steady upward trajectory in the number of readers who interact with our articles, including a 30% increase in followers on social media, and for theologian Jeremy Begbie to write, ‘Transpositions is always high quality–by far the best thing out there on theology and the arts.’

Thus, I am indebted to the following individuals for their hard work during my time as Senior Editor: our former Editor (and my former Co-Editor) Denny Kinlaw; former Guest Contributions Editor, Katelynn Carver; former Reviews Editor, Kimberley Anderson; Editorial Assistant, Nayeli Riano; Reviews Editor, Karen McClain Kiefer; and Guest Contributions Editor, Jake Morley. Without the incredible talent and professional drive of these individuals, the consistent quality of articles and reviews would not have been nearly at the level where they have been each week and, I am confident, where they will remain well into the future. Finally, I am grateful to the staff at ITIA for their support, encouragement and guidance, as well as for providing this opportunity to engage a broader audience with our research into theology, imagination and the arts.

Likewise, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin Antlitz, who has been a Regular Contributor to our site for the entire time that I have been involved with Transpositions, including during my tenure as Reviews Editor. Kevin has produced engaging and insightful articles that lay at the heart of what we seek to do in our online journal and his writings are consistently some of our most read articles. I hope that we will continue to be able to benefit from his wisdom and perceptive analysis for many years to come.

As much as I am indebted to my staff and to Kevin for all of their hard work over the years, I am blessed most of all because I consider them to be my friends and distinguished colleagues. I have enjoyed thoroughly the time we have spent interacting on both a professional and personal basis.

Reflecting upon my own personal contributions to the journal, it came to my attention that I have quoted G. K. Chesterton in almost every article, review, and Letter from the Editor. This consistency is due as much to him being a prophetic genius and literary wordsmith, as much as it is due to the fact that he forms a significant part of my doctoral thesis.

Not one to break with any meaningful traditions (though meaningful in this case may be up for debate), I quote once again from the Prince of Paradox himself: ‘Has not every one noticed how sweet and startling any landscape looks when seen through an arch? This strong, square shape, this shutting off of everything else is not only an assistance to beauty; it is the essential of beauty. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.’ [1] Adapting this observation for my purposes here, it seems that my time as Editor has reached the edge of the frame that circumscribes the canvas depicting my small contribution toward this important endeavour. However, the end of one frame often indicates the beginning of another portrait that depicts a new, perhaps improved, view toward a vibrant landscape of theological and artistic enquiry.

When publication resumes in September, our current Guest Contributions Editor Jake Morley will assume the responsibilities as the new Senior Editor of Transpositions. Jake has done a wonderful job over the past year in providing articles from our guest contributors in a professional and consistent manner. Likewise, Karen McClain Kiefer will remain a significant part of the staff as she and Jake continue to seek new ways of moving the journal forward to present the most relevant and poignant research possible. They will be joined by Joel Mayward, current contributor and PhD student in ITIA, as well as possibly other students who would like to assume the mantle of continuing this important work.

Often times, it is only when looking back at something that we truly appreciate that small moment in time. The passage of time tends to imbue our experiences with the warm colours of fond remembrance, clarifying its significance amidst the rubble of daily, temporal inconvenience. As I bid you adieu one final time in my capacity as Editor, I am fortunate to realise, even now, that I will indeed look back at this time at Transpositions with immense fondness and profound affection. Thank you for coming along with me on this wonder-filled journey.

Laus Deo,

Brett H Speakman
Editor

 


[1] G. K. Chesterton, ‘The Toy Theatre,’ in Tremendous Trifles (London: Methuen, 1909).

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