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Big domains that matter

There’s so much going on right now that it’s hard to know where to begin. “We are starting,” I said this evening, “four businesses at once.” But it makes sense, because publishing today, at least when you’re tackling areas as big as world cultures and world history and sustainability, can’t be a narrowly focused enterprise. Diversity, in markets and media and formats, is essential. But we are focusing on domains–important, interdisciplinary subjects–and working from there. It’s amazing to listen to the buzz in the office, as new material comes in for our project on the future, on sustainability, on religious justice. The development of our publishing on religion is something I feel especially proud of, because we’re working with serious people who see things differently from the way we do. If you happen to have access to the London Literary Review (a splendid magazine), do read the review in the March issue by Bernard Green of three books on religion. He accurately describes how many intellectuals see religion as something to be explained away and driven out, and shows the rather sketchy thinking behind this viewpoint. I am not a believer, but I have come to recognize the enormous importance and power of belief, and it’s good to find that there are other who share our conviction that understanding, and accepting, religion as a major force in human society is truly essential at this stage in history. As my son said the other day, religious leaders are the people in the best possible position to get us, en masse, to do something about global warming.

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