The Crownless Again Shall Be King

“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien


This was published as the letter from the editors of the Columbia Crown & Cross’s inaugural issue in Spring 2014.

Welcome to the very first issue of the Columbia Crown & Cross! We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we loved putting it together.

Columbia was founded in 1754 as an Anglican liberal arts college. Much has changed since then, but we believe that the Christian faith can contribute much to an academic life. We’re also convinced that the ideas and diversity of a university can enrich the life of faith. We hope to start a fruitful conversation that will encourage longtime followers of Jesus and intrigue those who are curious about Christianity.

As human beings, we long for meaning, for harmony, for things to make sense and be put right. We all want to know the transcendentals: goodness, truth, and beauty, the wonderful things beyond the walls of the world. God, making us in His image, gave us both the capacity and the desire to search out the light He’s built into creation. Despite our rebellion, God entered into the limitation and brokenness of our humanity to redeem it and bring it to glory.

That means all truth is God’s truth, and we have the joy and privilege of worshipping our Creator through our work as students. We are also called to prepare to love our neighbor through our work, speaking into and sometimes challenging the culture of our campus, our city, our country, and our globe.

We hope to challenge ourselves, our readers, and Columbia as a whole to dare to conceive of being human as something with mystery, glory, and ineffable worth. Too often, human dignity is seen as primarily being about consumption, intelligence, or achievement. This inaugural issue offers pieces like Sarah Durham’s exploration of Isaiah as redeeming misogyny, Siqi Cao’s use of 16th century literary criticism to read the Bible with fresh eyes, and Tatianna Kufferath’s reflections on depression and despair at Columbia.

Join us as we embark on this journey. It is a journey of the mind but also of the heart, and especially of the spirit. We draw inspiration from Pope John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio: “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

–The Crown and Cross Editorial Board

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