Sed Contra: A Change for the Better

Deal W. Hudson
September 1, 2004

As you’ve probably already noticed, Crisis Magazine has gotten a major face-lift. Not only have we completely redesigned our look, but we’re now full color from cover to cover.

Our reasons are many, but the main one is simple: This is our small way of thanking you for being a faithful Crisis reader.

You see, as I write this, Crisis subscribers now number well over 32,000. To celebrate our continuing growth, we wanted to give Crisis an updated and more attractive look. I hope this new design will provide you added enjoyment and ease in reading. And I also hope the new Crisis look will help us reach the next plateau of growth and influence.

Don’t worry, we’re not raising the price of the magazine, nor is this some trick to get more money out of you. This is simply a free thank-you gift from us to you. I hope you’re as happy with the new look as we are. The fact is, the old style had become cramped and difficult to read. Not only that, but much of our mission is centered on beauty, art, and culture. Our old design wasn’t remotely beautiful. And when we carried stories on art—as we like to do—we’d have to render colorful masterpieces in black and white. It wasn’t fair to our authors, and it wasn’t fair to you.

And so, after almost ten years, we’ve updated our look. With this new design, we’ve gone for a mix of elegance, simplicity, and readability. Please let us know what you think.

Interestingly enough, the color redesign comes with some risk. There are those who think that an attractive, well-designed magazine cannot possibly be a serious publication as well. For these individuals, it seems that intellectual weight must be aesthetically plain. Others may believe—subliminally perhaps—that the new design reflects a softening in our editorial commitment to a strong, orthodox Catholicism.

Let me dispel both concerns. For a magazine to be fully Catholic, in form and content, it must strive not only to speak the truth but also to embody the kind of excellence found through the history of Catholic culture. The new design is another step in the direction of our growth in visual and design excellence. (Recall Hans Urs von Balthasar’s warning that those who pursue their lips at beauty will one day be unable to pray or to love.)

Furthermore, Crisis has no plans to become a picture book. We will always be a reader’s magazine. Our commitment to in-depth commentary and reporting on the culture from a faithful Catholic perspective remains what it was in November of 1982 when Crisis was founded. But now we have the opportunity to make the look of the magazine match the high quality of the content.

A final word: Our growth curve in recent years is due to many factors, but two deserve special mention. Raymond Matthew Wray, my longtime associate publisher, is wholly responsible for the day-to-day decisions concerning the marketing of the magazine, and it’s due to his careful supervision that Crisis has grown so dramatically. Editor Brian Saint-Paul has remade the content of the magazine over the past two years, making it more readable, interesting, and varied. Due to his work we’ve seen an increase in readers renewing the magazine, another factor in continued growth.

The remainder of the Crisis staff—eleven in all—also deserve great thanks: We’re truly blessed with a group of cheerful, talented, and committed people who come together five days a week to bring you our monthly magazine and weekly e-letter. Please remember to pray for all of us and our work. Know that in the heart of Washington, D.C., is a family of writers, editors, designers, and publishers working to create the best Catholic magazine we possibly can.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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