Third Way (magazine)
Cover of October 2010 issue
|Staff writers||Sue Webber, Huw Spanner, Nick Thorpe, Steve Tomkins, Hannah Kowszun|
|Publisher||Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd|
|Final issue||April 2016|
Third Way was a British current affairs magazine written from a Christian perspective. It called on well-known Christian thinkers and writers (its columnists include high-profile journalists, clergy and BBC comedy writers) to comment on news issues, much as the New Statesman or Spectator calls on those from left or right. According to the Times, it was 'noted for giving a serious Christian perspective on topics ranging from the Bible to politics, environment to the arts'. The magazine was not affiliated with either the minor British political party Third Way, or with the centrist 'Third Way' policies of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.
In 1974, thousands of Christians meeting at the First International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, Switzerland signed a covenant pledging to commit themselves to bringing the Christian gospel to bear on social issues. This sparked a lively debate in the Christian monthly magazine Crusade between David Sheppard, later Bishop of Liverpool, and John Pridmore. The debate inspired the editor of Crusade, John Capon, to launch Third Way as a fortnightly magazine in January 1977, putting a Christian perspective on current affairs and the arts. Its title refers to an observation by the theologian Os Guinness in his 1973 book The Dust of Death: 'How often in the contemporary discussion a sensitive modern man knows that he cannot accept either of the polarised alternatives offered to him. In Christianity, however, there can be a Third Way, a true middle ground which has a basis, is never compromise and is far from silent.' Third Way's first editor was Derek Williams. In 1978, he was succeeded by Alex Beale, later Alex Mitchell, who moved the magazine to its current monthly publication schedule.
Third Way reviewed films, music, books and television. It also carried features on social or cultural issues (such as the environment, sexual identity and economics) as well as in-depth interviews of high-profile and influential people, which are published in question-and-answer format without editorial comment. Since 1993, it has talked to Marina Abramović, Gerry Adams, Maya Angelou, Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Noam Chomsky, Paulo Coelho, Richard Dawkins, Tracey Emin, Werner Herzog, Annie Lennox, Theresa May, Khalid Mish'al, Jürgen Moltmann, Camille Paglia, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Anita Roddick and Slavoj Žižek among over 200 others. The Observer has said that 'the magazine has clearly … mastered the art of interviewing celebs who have been stitched up once too often by the red-tops'.
The magazine had 10,000 readers worldwide. Its last editor was Simon Jones and other staff included Steve Tomkins, Nick Thorpe and Huw Spanner. In terms of Christian alignment, it sat comfortably alongside the Greenbelt festival or the website Ship of Fools.
In July 2007 Third Way was acquired by Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd, which also owns the Church Times. The closure of the magazine was announced in February 2016, with effect from the April 2016 issue.
- "Alex Mitchell". The Times. London. 10 January 2011. p. 48.
- "Third Way imprint". Third Way. 2 (9): 2. 1978. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- John Capon (18 February 2011). "Alex Mitchell – Obituary". The Guardian. London. p. 39.
- "Media Diary". The Observer. London. 21 November 2004.