Typefaces – Pulpits and the Press

"The grand Pulpit is now the Press," Thomas Carlyle argued a century and a half ago, adding that "the true Church of England, at this moment, lies in the Editors of its Newspapers. These preach to the people daily, weekly; admonishing kings themselves; advising peace or war, with an authori­ty which only the first Reformers, and a long past clan of Popes were pos­sessed of." "How" Carlyle wrote, "these two Churches and Pulpits (the velvet cushion one and the metal-type one) are to  adjust their mutual rela­tions and cognate workings: this is a problem which some centuries may be taken up in solving."

More than a century after Carlyle's death, the adjusting of "the mutual relations and cognate workings" of edi­tors and ecclesiastics is far from fin­ished. The last three decades have seen some curious twists in the rela­tionship between the churches and the media. During the 60's and 70's when many clergymen became involved in the civil rights and antiwar move­ments, their relations with the press were usually harmonious. In April 1971 Newsweek sympathetically dis­cussed clergymen and religious journals involved in criticizing the Vietnam War without consulting any critics from the other side. Three years before, The Nation published "No Port for the Phoenix," by a member of a Quaker group defying U.S. law...

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