Dear reader, Thank you for reading this issue of the MIT et Spiritus journal. We want to invite you to contribute to our next issue that will be released this spring. If you would like to write an article or submit poetry/artwork, please send an email with a ~5-10 sentence abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, February 7th.
Other ways to get involved: If you would not like to write an article for the upcoming semester, but are still passionate about this vision, there are many other ways to serve. We are always looking for people to contribute to editing, layout/design, fundraising/budgeting, website management and event planning. Email us at email@example.com and let us know how you'd like to serve!
Thank you for reading this issue of the MIT et Spiritus journal.
As we write this letter, we think it is important to reflect on just how much has changed on campus since our first issue was published last spring: the graduation of old friends, the arrival of fresh new minds on campus, and the start of many innovative initiatives ranging from MIT’s Campaign for a Better World to The Engine.
Much has changed in the outside world as well. After a contentious presidential cycle, people on all sides are left with questions about the future regarding human rights, economics, international relations, and security. As much as this election process has disappointed us by highlighting the harsh divisions that exist in our society, it has also given us a clear opportunity to see where we need to come together. Now, more than ever before, there has been a call for unity on both sides, and we cannot help but feel a small glimpse of optimistic hope as we walk through Lobby 7, hearing people from all over the political spectrum candidly discuss their hopes and fears.
This strength of the MIT community to zealously search for truth while exhibiting both love and intellectual integrity is what keeps this journal going. Like its inaugural predecessor, this issue is rooted in the fundamental question: “What might it look like for students to engage in critical thought and dialogue about some of life’s toughest questions?” In addition to the Mens et Manus ethos that encapsulates the potential of the minds and hands that make up MIT—we, as Christians, believe in the spirit of each and every member of this university’s community. We recognize the need to feed and train this aspect of our being to truly live a meaningful life, and our hope is that by tackling tough issues from a framework of rational Christian thought, the MIT et Spiritus will accomplish just that.
As Christians, we believe that it is our responsibility to engage the changing world around us and confront the difficult questions that arise as a result. We share in the uncertainties and fears of every other human on campus—but we also have hope because we trust in a God who is constant through the ages. There is power and beauty in turning to the millennia-old Christian tradition to bring new insights to the pressing problems of today, and we invite readers of all backgrounds to join in on this quest for truth.
We hope that every reader will gain something from the pages of this issue—whether it be encouragement, renewed faith, or simply a new perspective. And as always, we hope that this collection of articles will not be the end, but just the start of meaningful discussions all around campus. Happy reading!
Matthew Chun and Richard Ibekwe
Thank you for reading this inaugural issue of the MIT et Spiritus. The vision for this journal began with a question: “What might it look like for students to engage in critical thought and dialogue about some of life’s toughest questions?”
In an age of skepticism and at an institute of analytical scrutiny, we aim to engage with the diverse MIT community on the questions and experiences with which we have wrestled. We hope to present how we believe the Christian faith is compatible with an intellectually rigorous and meaningful life. Further we hope to nurture a loving Christian community of critical thought, writing and beautiful art as we proclaim the truth, beauty and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though we believe these things ourselves, we want to create an open environment of rational dialogue where these ideas can be challenged and weighed fairly. We hope that this journal will lead to a number of ways for this to happen, whether in casual conversations, hosted discussion events, or point-counterpoint article pairs written on these important issues. MIT’s motto, Mens et Manus, embodies the university’s commitment to the development of both the minds and the hands of its students and faculty with the purpose of pursuing academic aspirations and serving the world. As fellow students, we deeply appreciate this mission, but should we stop there? By choosing the name et Spiritus, we hope to highlight the truth that we believe all of us have experienced—whether struggling at three a.m. with a pset, bearing with a friend who’s in need, participating in a club or sport, or implementing a project verseas—that what we learn and who we are as students, and how we are connected cannot be fully accounted for by our minds and our hands alone. There is also spirit—something with substance and persona that brings us together and which fundamentally constitutes our individual being. We as a journal hope to critically think, read, and write towards understanding the realities that speak to our minds, hands and spirits.
Finally, as followers of Jesus, we believe that there is freedom in the Holy Spirit. We have experienced this freedom to cry, to laugh, to sing, to love and to grow in our relationships with Christ. In our most desperate times, we have known the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. In the day-to-day grind, we are thankful for the continuous renewal possible through the Spirit. Perhaps you have experienced something wonderfully similar. It is for these reasons that we recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and we wish to encourage you to daily welcome God’s Spirit into yours.