Mount Union English Professor Launches Spiritual Magazine
September 15, 2017
ALLIANCE, Ohio – After more than five years of planning and development, Dr. Michael Olin-Hitt, professor of English, has launched spiritual magazine Braided Way, of which he is editor-in-chief. According to the magazine website, braidedway.org, Braided Way magazine “celebrates the diversity of our world’s faith traditions.” The purpose of the publication is to encourage inter-spiritual understanding, acceptance and engagement while supporting individuals’ spiritual development.
“The Braided Way approach to spiritual practice promotes the idea that all faiths and their spiritual practices are not independent in human development, instead they are like strands in a braid. Every strand adds a unique perspective and experience of the Sacred Whole, or the entire braid. Without any single strand, an authentic and essential human understanding and experience of the Sacred Whole is lost,” Olin-Hitt explained.
Along with articles on spirituality, the magazine and website also feature spiritually influenced fiction, poetry, photography and visual art. Braided Way aims to provide a platform for people to share and integrate their spiritual practices in a variety of ways.
“Because the spiritual journey can be lonely, I wanted to create a context for connection and sharing. I am also very aware that people with heightened spiritual gifts and perceptions can feel silenced or rejected in our culture, and I wanted to provide support and guidance for these people. It is a more numerous segment of our population than most people realize,” Olin-Hitt said.
Several Mount Union students have been involved with the development of Braided Way. Last fall, English literature and writing double majors Kristin Werstler ‘18 and Abbey Schlanz ’18 interned with the magazine, conducting interviews, writing articles, and editing various parts of the website and pilot issue. Senior writing majors Layn Palmer and Kacie Prologo are doing similar internships this semester.
“Whether it was communicating with different printers, working with artists to feature their work in Braided Way, or managing the website, I realized everything we do in the professional aspect is just as important as the creative. It also gave me real, professional training in the publishing industry that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” Werstler said of the experience.
So far, the magazine has released its pilot issue, and a second issue is scheduled for release this fall. In the future, however, an annual “Braided Way Anthology” will be printed with selections from the previous year.
“It is a magazine of integrity, and I’m proud of it. It has a message of spiritual unity, which is crucial for our time,” Olin-Hitt said.
Braided Way also plans to host various retreats for those wanting to delve more deeply into their spirituality and the unity of religious traditions. The first such retreat will be held in October, and more information about this event can be found on the Braided Way website.
Olin-Hitt’s other writing projects include two works of fiction and three books on his spiritual life, all of which are available for purchase on Amazon.com. For more information on Olin-Hitt and the magazine, visit braidedway.org and michaelolinhitt.com.