The Hour is a quarterly online magazine of criticism that was founded to pick up where the Anglo-Catholic socialist tradition left off. The tradition, that is, of the likes of Vida Dutton Scudder, Stewart Headlam, Frederic Hastings Smyth, R.H. Tawney, et al; and was that carried on into the recent past (at times almost single-handedly, it seems) by the late Kenneth Leech.
Though officially launched in December 2019, The Hour had its humble beginnings over a year beforehand, when the editors connected over Twitter and began to have frequent conversations in the DMs. Eventually, we discovered that we shared many frustrations about the state of the discourse in the Episcopal Church and decided to start a magazine to do something about it.
The Hour exists, therefore, because neither the reactionary narratives of decline nor the neoliberal appeals to "faith communities" that one typically hears are good enough. Though they certainly are boring enough. To be clear, this in no way meant to propose another tedious "both-sides" critique or to endorse some pristine "third-way" political strategy -- both of which inevitably default to the right. As Herbert McCabe said: "The class struggle is not something we are in a position to refrain from. It is just there; we are either on one side or the other. What looks like neutrality is simply a collusion with the class in power."
We were also inspired by the Slant group of the 1960s and all the other random PDF scans we've found on the public domain. As for the aesthetic of the magazine, it's made us happy to see how much people have appreciated it. It's got all the good stuff: Art Nouveau, the DIY punk zines of the 80s and 90s, obscure film posters from 1960s Eastern Europe, the Vienna Secession, and the impeccable austerity of those old book covers put out by McGraw-Hill.
In short, we hope to encourage people to deepen their familiarity with neglected historical Anglican sources in order to take up their project. They left an abundance of resources for socialist political action and parish ministry alike, neither of which are exhausted. They can speak again, in whatever way is possible in this haphazard little operation.
Fr. Caleb Roberts
Ponca City, OK