Why We Publish

October 14, 2020 by

Photo Credit: Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Many threads of thought spin together to make an inspiration. For quite a few years now, I’ve been casting around for ideas that inspire, and have been surprised to find Eberhard Arnold’s writings cropping up on all sorts of subjects. After a critical read of a fair bit of his correspondence and published papers, I count his voice as a reliable backboard for bouncing off topics like the conscience, problems of contemporary culture, activism, and faith. Here is Arnold on the start of a publishing house in 1920, his line of questioning still highly relevant to our publishing today in 2020. Why do we bother letting fly more words in a time that seems already teeming with noise and information? As Arnold states, we do it to “testify to God’s action in the history of our days.” But it goes further, beyond a chronology of events. A publishing house must “steer its course right into the torrent of contemporary thought,” and in so doing, hopefully feed the individual fires of inspiration in its readers.

Plough at One Hundred Years

Our Original Mission Statement from 1920

Eberhard Arnold

The Neuwerk Publishing House is a communal publishing enterprise. It exists not for the profit of one or more entrepreneurs, but instead as a community of common purpose that manifests and pursues its shared spirit and goals through all forms of publishing. The publishing house takes its name from its biweekly magazine Das neue Werk: der Christ im Volksstaat (The New Work: The Christian in Democracy).

The mission of the magazine shows the way forward for the mission of the publishing house as a whole. This mission is to proclaim living renewal, to summon people to the deeds of the spirit of Christ, to spread the mind that was in Jesus in the national and social distress of the present day, to apply Christianity publicly, to testify to God’s action in the history of our days. Though this task is not tied to a church, it is a religious task. It means penetrating down to the deepest life forces of Christianity and demonstrating that they are indispensable for solving the most urgent problems in contemporary culture.

Read the full article here.


About the author

Amber Maendel

Amber Maendel

Amber Maendel lives in Fox Hill, a community in Walden, New York.

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