Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community.
We believe that the great art that has emerged from these faith traditions is dramatic, not didactic—incarnational, not abstract. And so our focus has been on works of imagination that embody a spiritual struggle, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. In our pages the larger questions of existence intersect with what the poet Albert Goldbarth calls the “greasy doorknobs and salty tearducts” of our everyday lives.
Appearing in Image’s pages are:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ♦ Scott Cairns ♦ Bruce Cockburn ♦ Robert Coles ♦ Annie Dillard ♦ Louise Erdrich ♦ Mark Helprin ♦ Oscar Hijuelos ♦ John Irving ♦ Ron Hansen ♦ Philip Levine ♦ Dana Gioia ♦ Kathleen Norris ♦ Mary Oliver ♦ Robert Olen Butler ♦ Marilynne Robinson ♦ Sufjan Stevens ♦ John Updike ♦ Wim Wenders ♦ Elie Wiesel ♦ Richard Wilbur ♦ Joy Williams ♦ Rowan Williams ♦ Christian Wiman ♦ Lauren F. Winner
Material first published in Image has appeared in the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Spiritual Writing, O. Henry Prize Stories, The Art of the Essay, New Stories from the South, Best Christian Short Stories, Best Christian Writing, and Best American Movie Writing. Image has also been nominated by Utne Reader for an Alternative Press Award for Spiritual Coverage, and has been excerpted by Harper's, the Wilson Quarterly, and Utne Reader, and featured on-line at Poetry Daily and on the air at Garrison Keillor's Reader's Almanac.
Ronald Austin ♦ Scott Cairns ♦ Robert Coles ♦ Denis Donoghue ♦ Carolyn Forche ♦ Gordon Fuglie ♦ Mary Gordon ♦ Patricia Hampl ♦ Ron Hansen ♦ Mark Helprin ♦ Andrew Hudgins ♦ Thomas Lynch ♦ Paul Mariani ♦ Mary McCleary ♦ Barry Moser ♦ Marilyn Nelson ♦ Kathleen Norris ♦ Theodore Prescott ♦ Richard Rodriguez ♦ Dan Wakefield ♦ Jeanne Murray Walker ♦ Wim Wenders ♦ Rowan Williams ♦ Christian Wiman ♦ Lauren F. Winner ♦ Larry Woiwode
Subscribe to Image in print, digital, or both! All subscriptions include free access to our online archive.
You can also subscribe to web access alone for only $3.99/month!
To learn more and subscribe, click here.
Learn more about Image's staff and interns on our Contact page here.
What They’re Saying
“Image occupies a unique place in the religion/arts world. No other journal manages to maintain such academic integrity while at the same time avoiding theological jargon. No other journal manages to offer such depth while still remaining comprehensible to a general readership. No other journal manages to be so provocative while also being so full of common sense. And no other journal in this field begins to match Image for quality of presentation. A major achievement with a rich and promising future.”
—Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford Research Professor in Theology, Duke Divinity School
“Just read the last copy of Image on Tuesday. So beautiful. The writing. The design. The art. All of it.”
—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“Image is the most meaningful literary journal being published today. Each issue brings us back into an understanding that art pierces the surface of our lives to illuminate the soul; that art is, indeed, a redemptive gift from God.”
—Bret Lott, author of Jewel
“This magazine fills a real gap in the area of art and religion, and I am convinced that for many people this journal will be a very important source of better understanding of the deep links between art and religion.”
—Henri J.M. Nouwen, author of Behold the Beauty of the Lord
“You have produced something that is fine, beautiful, and commendable. God certainly is not in need of your help, but if He were to venture an opinion I'm fairly sure that He would smile upon all that you have done. In looking over Image, I confess, I felt a sense of grace, something borne in the air, something wonderfully and almost inexplicably buoyant. My response is to say to you, Kol HaKavod, which means, in Hebrew, ‘All the honor is yours.’”
—Mark Helprin, author of A Soldier of the Great War
“Image is a realistic, valuable, and extraordinarily interesting magazine. Its writing and artwork is simple, direct, and without pretension—like the best of all American writing. It deserves generous support—and applause.”
—Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
“Reading Image is like entering a room full of unpretentious, smart friends talking about fascinating questions. The magazine is not only beautiful; it's probing, thoughtful, and wise about art, politics, and the life of faith. I need Image, and I'm not surprised so many other people do, too.”
—Jeanne Murray Walker, poet and playwright, author of The Queen's Two Bodies
“Image is a daring project, filled with the highest promise. Our nation's high culture, which is increasingly uncertain about what distinguishes high from low, is perhaps ready to be pointed toward the humane and humanizing understanding of the arts that has been in the past, and can be in the future, nurtured by biblical faith.”
—Richard John Neuhaus, author of The Naked Public Square
“Image is the most exciting new journal I've seen...a beacon, a lighthouse for Christians involved in the arts.... Perhaps, like Eliot's quarterly, it will influence an entire generation. It has that potential.”
—Larry Woiwode, novelist, author of Beyond the Bedroom Wall
“A first-class journal in every aspect—graphics, design, and most importantly, content...a rare and valuable prize.”
—Dan Wakefield, author of Returning: A Spiritual Journey
“Image is compelling. I've seen nothing like it.”
—Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television, Inc.
“A beautiful magazine.”
—Madeleine L'Engle, Newbery Award-winning author
With the journal as our cornerstone, Image has grown
to include many other programs that support our mission.
Image hosts several readings and intimate concerts throughout the year, including the annual Denise Levertov Award in our hometown of Seattle. Past events include readings in Washington, D.C., a gallery talk with Makoto Fujimura in Vancouver, B.C., seminars in Italy, and conferences in New York City.
Learn more here.
A week can change a life.
The Glen Workshop, sponsored by Image, began in 1995 as an innovative and enriching week combining the best elements of a workshop, an arts festival, and a spiritual retreat. Twenty years later, the Glen has grown into an annual event featuring nationally acclaimed authors and artists.
To learn more, click here.
A Brief History of Image
In the beginning was the journal. Image’s pilot issue was published in 1989 from a basement in Front Royal, Virginia. Issues appeared irregularly for the first five years as the founders, led by Gregory Wolfe, sought financial support and a broader community of readers. In 1994, Image began publishing on a quarterly basis.
Out of the journal grew lively events, including workshops, conferences, seminars, fellowships, online classes, readings, concerts, and other programs described above. Speakers and performers over the years have included Chaim Potok, Kathleen Norris, Henri Nouwen, Ann Patchett, Dana Gioia, Lucinda Williams, Dave Brubeck, Bruce Cockburn, and many more.
In 2000, Seattle Pacific University invited Image to make a home on their campus. Gregory Wolfe directs their Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program.
In 2014, Image celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special issue of the journal filled with young writers and artists, a reading in Washington, D.C., and a festival of choirs based in Seattle.
Read a personal narrative from Gregory Wolfe here.
Meet the rest of the Image staff here.
Image is a registered 501(c)3
Every year, we earn about 40% of our income from sales and workshop registrations. About 60% comes from the support of our community.
To learn more about donating
to Image, click here.
Ready to dive in?
We’ve picked these out for you to read...
Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Swansea, south Wales, in 1950, into a Welsh-speaking family, and was educated at Dynevor School in Swansea and Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he studied theology. After two years as a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection, near Leeds, he was ordained deacon in Ely Cathedral before returning to…
He does not shampoo your carpet or show you how to brush it clean. He does not shower you with roses for Sunday’s wedding or funeral. He does not put his hand in your hair or ask if your spouse is at home. He only opens a book of words in two columns, one in…
You, who seek grace from a distracted God, you, who parse the rhetoric of empire, who know in your guts what it is but don’t know what to call it, you, good son of a race of shadows— your great fortune is to have a job, never ate government cheese, federal peanut butter— you, jerked…
IT WAS AN ORDINARY autumn night in suburban Chicago when I received the most disturbing book I have ever read. I was seventeen, slouching in my bedroom making a half-hearted attempt at homework, my sweaty cross-country clothes festering on the floor. My father appeared at the doorway and handed me a yellowed paperback that looked…
This website is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.