Letter from the Editor: Farewell for Now…

‘At last he rose, and twitch’d his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.’

So wrote Milton of his shepherd-poet, his ‘uncouth swain’, at the end of Lycidas. Whether or not I meet Milton’s definition of an ‘uncouth swain’, I too must head to ‘pastures new’. Over the last three years, I have been greatly privileged to serve on the editorial staff here at Transpositions, first as Guest Contributions Editor for a year and then as Senior Editor for two years. My work with this journal has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my time at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, and I know I will always look back on this experience with great fondness. This time has been a great blessing.

As I go, I first and foremost must pay tribute to my fine editorial colleagues. First, to my predecessor, Brett Speakman, who brought me onboard at Transpositions and established such a professional, consistent standard for our work. Second, to my present colleagues Karen McClain Kiefer, Joel Mayward, and Ewan Bowlby, who collectively have done much more than I have over the last two years to select, shape, and perfect the content our readers have enjoyed. When he wrote his own farewell two years ago, Brett observed that he stood on the shoulders of giants. I certainly share that sentiment in the relation to the past, but I would also emphasize that I feel that same way towards those friends and coworkers who have borne me along in the present. I have always benefited from their efforts and have simply tried to bring their work to fruition in a compelling way. Transpositions would have been a very different, and lesser, publication over the last two years without their hard work and creative contributions.

I also owe considerable thanks to the ITIA staff. Thanks to Gavin Hopps, Judith Wolfe, George Corbett, and Rebekah Lamb, who have all supported and contributed to Transpositions in multiple ways over my editorial tenure. They have written articles, connected other contributors to the journal, suggested opportunities, and gladly integrated the output of their own classes and research projects with the work of our journal. All four of them provide wonderful daily examples of intellectual curiosity, charity, and humility, and I have been truly fortunate to study alongside them.

Finally, thanks as well to our readers and contributors. Thanks for your messages of support and your desire to be part of a flourishing, worldwide conversation about theology, the imagination, and the arts. I hope that we have been an inspirational resource for you!

Although I must go, I leave with great confidence in the future direction of this journal: Karen McClain Kiefer will succeed me as Editor as our new year of publishing begins. Karen has already worked with me for several years, and she has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to finding new ways that we might creatively contribute to the vital discussion surrounding theology and the arts. I know that she, Joel, Ewan, and future team members will lead Transpositions in productive, interesting new directions.

In my perspective, the editor’s role is one of invisible service on behalf of others. If I have helped the work of our writers and other editors to become a little better, or have simply made it accessible to others, I will consider my time at Transpositions a success.


Jake Morley


  • Jake Morley currently teaches English at The Stony Brook School in Stony Brook, NY. A former Senior Editor for Transpositions, he is completing his PhD at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. His broader research interests include theological aesthetics as well as the relationship between poetry and theology, while his more specific research covers English poetry from Spenser to Milton and the application to literary study of the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Jake's previous academic work includes an MA in English from Middlebury College and an MA in systematic theology from Wheaton College.

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