Charting Our Future In A Pandemic Year

Hardcover. 457pp. $27.50

As a pandemic and racial reckoning exposed society’s faults, Christian thinkers were laying the groundwork for a better future.

A public health and economic crisis provoked by Covid-19. A social crisis cracked open by the filmed murder of George Floyd. A leadership crisis laid bare as the gravity of a global pandemic met a country suffocating in political polarization and idolatry.

In the spring of 2020, Comment magazine created a publishing project to tap the resources of a Christian humanist tradition to respond collaboratively and imaginatively to these crises. Plough soon joined in the venture. So did seventeen other institutions. The web commons that resulted – Breaking Ground – became a one-of-a-kind space to probe society’s assumptions, interrogate our own hearts, and imagine what a better future might require.

This volume, written in real time during a year that revealed the depths of our society’s fissures, provides a wealth of reflections and proposals on what should come after. It is an anthology of different lenses of faith seeking to understand how best we can serve the broader society and renew our civilization. Presented as a beautiful hardback, It includes essays by luminaries such as N.T. Wright, Oliver O'Donovan. and Mark Noll, as well as Davenant team members Susannah Black, Jake Meador, and Brad Littlejohn.

The Editors

Ann Snyder is the editor-in-chief of Comment magazine and oversees their partner project, Breaking Ground. Anne has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and the City Journal, and serves as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice, the Hyde Park Institute, and the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Susanna Black is a senior editor of Plough and has written for publications including First ThingsFare ForwardFront Porch RepublicMere Orthodoxy, and The American Conservative. She lives in New York City.


“Breaking Ground is a masterful essay collection that wrings meaning out of a pandemic year.”

- Jeremiah Rood

Book Reviewer, Forward Magazine

“I am going to recommend Breaking Ground to our book club. It offers an excellent opportunity to step back and, with the help of some wise observers, reflect on what we might learn from the memorable year we have just been through.”

- George M. Marsden

Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus,
University of Notre Dame

“In a time of unprecedented human and planetary crisis, Plough and Comment magazines are showing how Christianity can once again seize the cultural high ground. But as their collaborative Breaking Ground anthology shows, this can only be brought about by not neglecting the low ground, since cultivation is an integral affair. If you despair of the future, the writers represented here offer real prophetic hope.”

- John Milbank

Professor of the School of Humanities, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Nottingham


The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness.

Below are some of the works we've published towards that end.