about touchstone

Touchstone is a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.

It provides a place where Christians of various backgrounds can speak on the basis of shared belief in the fundamental doctrines of the faith as revealed in Holy Scripture and summarized in the ancient creeds of the Church.

To the confusion of voices in the world on matters of order in religious, social, and cultural life, it speaks with a unified voice of that which, manifest in creation and divine revelation, flows from the life of God himself.

senior editors

Thomas S. Buchanan, Ph.D., is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille in France. He has held many academic administrative positions, including department chairman, deputy dean and institute director, as well as national leadership positions such as president of the American Society of Biomechanics and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. Dr. Buchanan is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College and serves on the editorial board of Touchstone where he had a regular column, "Practical Christianity."

Dr. Allan C. Carlson earned his PhD. in Modern European History from Ohio University. He is the President emeritus and founder of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society in Rockford IL, where he continues to serve as editor of The Family in America. He was also a visiting professor of history at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Dr. Carlson has written extensively on issues of family and society. Among his most recent publications are: Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control 1873-1973 (Transaction Publishers); Conjugal America: On the Public Purpose of Marriage (Transaction Publishers); and Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies – And Why They Disappeared (ISI). His work is also widely published, both in the states and abroad, in such avenues as The Washington Post, the New Oxford Review, The Intercollegiate Review; The University Bookman, Communio, The Chesterton Review; Caelum et Terra, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). Previously he has taught at UNC and Furman University. Dr. Esolen's other publications include: Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (ISI Press), The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Regnery Press) and Ironies of Faith (ISI Press) ; and Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destory the Humanity of Your Child (ISI Press). He is a regular contributor to The Claremont Review, First Things, Touchstone, Catholic World Report, Magnificat, This Rock, and Latin Mass. He is also the commentator on the new English translation for the Roman Missal Companion, The Beauty of the Word,which is published by Magnificat.

Dr. Esolen has dedicated much of his career to a study of the classics. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House), Lucretius' On the Nature of Things (John Hopkins University Press), and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered (John Hopkins University Press).

Dr. Robert P. George lectures on constitutional law, civil liberties, and philosophy of law at Princeton University, where he is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence. George also serves as the director of Princeton's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. A native of West Virginia, George holds his JD and MTS from Harvard's Law and Divinity Schools and his DPhil from Oxford University, where he studied under John Finnis.

In November of 2009, George helped draft the Manhattan Declaration, a document that seeks to articulate a Christian voice in the public sphere. The Declaration urges the church to defend marriage and family and religious freedom. In 2012. Dr. George was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. In the past, he has served as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Dr. James Hitchcock is professor emeritus of history at St. Louis University, his alma mater. He holds degrees (MA, PhD) from Princeton University. Dr. Hitchcock writes and lectures frequently on Church issues. He is a founding board member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a senior editor of Touchstone magazine, and associate editor of Human Life International.

Dr. Hitchcock's books include, among others, What is Secular Humanism?; Years of Crisis: Collected Essays, 1970-1983; Recovery of the Sacred; the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton, 2004). His most recent book (and magnum opus) is History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium (Ignatius Press, 2012).

The husband of Helen Hull Hitchcock (d. 2014; editor of Adoremus Bulletin and president of Women for Faith & Family), Dr. Hitchcock lives in St. Louis and has four adult daughters.

Steven Mark Hutchens, Ph. D.—Disturbed early on by controversy and disunity among professing Christians, Hutchens began in early adulthood to study the doctrine and lives of as many churches as possible, beginning with those of the fundamentalists and Evangelicals among whom he was raised. The pilgrimage this required was taken through a number of seminaries and divinity schools, Protestant and Catholic, liberal and conservative. During doctoral studies he was a Congregationalist minister.

Influenced by C. S. Lewis and the Mercersburg theologians and aided by Harold O. J. Brown and Carl Braaten, under whose supervision he wrote his dissertation, his conclusions include rejection of religious modernism and its satellite theologies, including those of egalitarianism, as fundamentally anti-Christian, and a rough ranking of the believing churches from greater to lesser levels of understanding.  In this ranking Eastern Orthodoxy stands first as the body whose theology and method comprehend the pervading Christological paradox upon which the faith and its Scriptures (with all creation) are established, and avoids missteps made by the most theologically encumbered Western churches.

These conclusions, however, make one no more than a bad Protestant, and attractive to no one hiring teachers of theology, so Hutchens served as a reference librarian for twenty years, retiring in 2015 to become Touchstone's book review editor.  He has been Chairman of the Fellowship of Saint James and is a senior editor of Touchstone, in which most of his writing appears.  He has also published essays and reviews in The New Oxford Review, The Congregationalist, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, The Religion and Society Report, The Evangelical Catholic, Sursum Corda, Books and Culture, and The New Atlantis.  He and his wife Mary live near Racine, Wisconsin, and have two daughters.

Dr. Russell D. Moore is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral concerns and public policy entity of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. Prior to his election in 2013, Moore served as provost and dean of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught as professor of theology and ethics. Moore is the author of several books including Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, and Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel (2015), recipient of Christianity Today's Book of the Year Award.

A widely-sought cultural commentator, Dr. Moore has been recognized by a number of influential organizations. The Wall Street Journal has called him "vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate" while The Gospel Coalition has referred to him "one of the most astute ethicists in contemporary evangelicalism." A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.

Dr. Leon J. Podles holds a Ph.D. in Old English and Old Icelandic from the University of Virginia. Some of his recent publications include The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity (Spence) and Sacrilege, an in-depth look at sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. His latest book is Meek or Macho: Men and Religion, due out in 2017 from St. Augustine's Press. His work has appeared in numerous publications including America, The American Spectator, and Crisis.

After serving as a federal investigator for 20 years, Dr. Podles founded the Crossland Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Christian culture through education. He is involved in his own community by serving on the boards of the Baltimore Area Council of Scouts and the Baltimore Opera Company. He and his wife Mary are the parents of six children. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland, and Naples, Florida.

Father Patrick Henry Reardon, now the archpriest of All Saints' Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, comes from an educational journey through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA. His own output for the edification of others has been equally varied, as his writing has appeared over the past four decades in many publications across the world. Father Patrick has also published an extensive list of books, including the classic Christ and the Psalms, and his most recent book, the first volume in a trilogy on Reclaiming the Atonement: The Incarnation. Father Patrick lives in Chicago with his wife, Denise.

contributing editors

J. Daryl Charles, Rod Dreher, Robert Hart, Graeme Hunter, Phillip E. Johnson, Peter J. Leithart, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Ken Myers, Kevin Offner, Folke T. Olofsson, William Saunders, William J. Tighe, Mark Tooley, R. V. Young

executive editor

James M. Kushiner is the Executive Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, which he formed in 1986 as an occasional newsletter. The publication expanded into a quarterly journal in 1987 and he became its editor in 1992, when he established an editorial board of Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians. He developed Touchstoneinto a bimonthly magazine in 1998. Kushiner edited Creed & Culture: A Touchstone Reader, (2003, ISI books), a collection of Touchstone's best 21 essays from its first ten years of publication. His most recent talk, "Marriage: Evolving or Intelligently Designed? Why There Can Never Be Any Such Thing as 'Same-Sex Marriage'," was presented at the Wheatley Institute, Brigham Young University, on October 29, 2015, in Provo, Utah.


Assistant Editor

Anita Kuhn

Design Editor

Jerry Janquart

Office Manager

Carolyn Frève

Marketing & Copy Editing

Patricia Kushiner

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