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Showing posts from December 9, 2012

My Reasons for Starting Renewal Magazine and The Movement It Failed to Sustain

I was hired by Don Benedict to create and run an exploratory program in journalism in Chicago beginning in the fall of 1961. This was an entirely novel opportunity and I do not exaggerate. Fortified by what was then a large endowment, Benedict could afford to experiment in an effort to renew and perhaps alter the trajectory of churches in the inner city.  It is not an exaggeration also to suggest I was uniquely qualified, not only with a degree from Union Seminary, but with over a decade of journalistic experience both at Exeter and Williams and on the New Republic. I plunged into the work and during the first months produced a series of radio documentaries on the inner city, covered the "murder" trial of Lee Arthur Hester and issued a special publication called the Albany Report which recounted the experience of Chicago ministers seeking to achieve racial justice in the deep South. I had spent the summer before coming to Chicago in the Student Interracial Ministry as assist…