Issue One

A Uniquely Human Art Form

Margaret Harper McCarthy Download Article

Language. We are born into it, already attuned to its rhythm and syntax as newborns. We learn it almost miraculously in our first years, without a thought. We take it for granted. It defies evolutionary accounts of its origin and transhumanist dreams of its replacement. In a word, language is that uniquely human art form of the incarnate spirits we are; for it is only with words—sensuous symbolsthat we can speak of the world. Through wordsfirst spoken to us then by uswe communicate with things and with others, giving voicethrough the multiplicity of concrete names and languagesto the community of inexhaustible beings in the world and to the inexhaustible community of the One who made it.