Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn (1 Kg. 2:2-3).
It might be a difficult time to hear Sacred Scripture instruct us to “be strong, and show yourself a man,” as the last few years have witnessed a public reckoning of the sins of men. In the secular realm, the MeToo movement has revealed an ugly world where powerful men don’t hesitate to satisfy their base desires by humiliating, harassing, and assaulting the women over whom they have influence. In the Church, the same dynamic has been exposed in the harassment of seminarians and in the double lives of prelates, in the shadow of the horrific violence of the abuse of children.
Why, you might ask, would we talk more about men, and focus on a scriptural admonition to “show yourself a man”? Isn’t it time to move on, to find solutions to these problems elsewhere?
But on the contrary, a time like now is precisely the moment to ask how men should live as good men, to look closely at manly virtues and masculine perfections. We know the sins of men all too well, and desperately desire to eradicate such vice. Vice, however, can only be expunged as virtue takes its place, and if we want men to cease acting like beasts we must first know and teach what it means to act like a virtuous man.
The Winter 2018 issue of Dominicana seeks to present a positive view of manly virtue. We do not wish to dwell upon what is evil and what is lacking, but to bring to light what is good and holy in Christian, manly virtue. The articles of this issue offer wide-ranging reflections, from the vocation of man as father in Scripture and the presentation of that vocation in art, to the philosophical relation of nature to nurture in masculinity, and a variety of other topics. Additionally, you’ll find insightful interviews, reviews of current books, and creative works of fiction.
If you have a print subscription, you can read these articles online. If you don’t have a subscription, enjoy two complementary articles—“Shew Thyself a Man: Inheritance and Manliness in the Bible” and “Rules For the Game: A Review of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life”—and, if you like these, consider subscribing.
Our hope and prayer is that within this journal you find a compelling and beautiful portrayal of the best that men can be. Masculinity is not something toxic, to be feared, nor is it something irredeemable, to be erased. It is part of our human life that is a gift from God, capable of corruption but also of perfection.
Image: Guido Reni, St. Jospeh