Editorial: After Eight Years

  • Curtis W. HartEmail author
Editor's Note

This issue of the Journal appears at the beginning of my ninth year as Editor in Chief. When I began my tenure in 2011, I do not think I had considered, consciously at least, how long I would be this post. I knew I wanted to see the international content of the Journal’s contributions increase, make room for student and young scholar contributions, and develop special sections or themed areas of submissions focused on specific areas all the while honoring the work of my predecessors in the Editor’s chair. It has been my great good fortune to accomplish all of the above to some degree or other. Members of our Editorial Board have been faithful and dependable in their various roles. Springer and its cohort of support staff have been immeasurably kind and patient thus lessening an ever-increasing load of submissions and communication with authors. Having been on the other side of the review process as an author myself affords me the necessary patience to deal with those waiting in authorial limbo for some sign of judgment from what can seem a distant and overly bureaucratized process of decision-making for submitted articles.

I have come to consider why this position has become so meaningful and important for me and allowed me to continue in this role. Upon reflection, I realize I had considerable knowledge of the Journal and its purposes earlier on particularly as it relates to certain articles and authors I knew well before being invited to take the helm. One such person is Joseph Fins, M.D. whom I have known since the late 1980′s when he was a Resident in the Department of Medicine at the then New York Hospital and at the time an emergent scholar in the field of medical ethics while I was the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at the Hospital. As a matter of full disclosure, Dr. Fins is currently the Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics where I have an appointment. Earlier on I encouraged him to submit his work to the Journal. One of his articles, From Indifference to Goodness, published in volume 35, number 3, pages 246-254 in Fall 1996 stands out as an example of literate, sophisticated writing that crosses disciplinary boundaries as it bridges ethics, history, clinical practice, and philosophical reflection in this case on the nature of goodness. It focuses on the work of Dr. Fins’ former mentor and teacher in the Department of Philosophy at Wesleyan University, Phillip Hallie and his book Let Innocent Blood Be Shed. His article describes Hallie’s work this way

Professor Hallie’s book is an account of people and events in the tiny village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in southeast France. During the depths of the Nazi Holocaust, the Protestant Hugenot villagers of Le Chambon saved their Jewish brethren. Amidst the violence of war and genocide, their compassion saved thousands of Jewish lives without violence, murder or bloodshed. (p. 246)

This article has always stood out for me as an example of the sort we should always encourage and bring to publication. Its topic matter is as vital today as it was when the article was first published, perhaps more so.

Lately Dr. Fins has written a follow-up to that original article in an address to his colleagues in the College of Letters at Wesleyan on the twenty-fifth year of the Philip Hallie Lecture. I am taking the unorthodox step of sharing these remarks that expand upon and enrich From Indifference to Goodness as a portion of this Editorial. The form and content of these remarks demonstrates not only love for a revered teacher and mentor but also why the Journal is what it is and why it will continue in this path in the future. As seen here, our engagement with issues involving fact and value, theory and practice, must always lie at the center of our work in the Journal of Religion and Health.


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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