The CCS quarterly magazine, Tis Areté, is available as a PDF download below.
Areté (the terminal e sounds like the Canadian “eh?”) or ἀρετή, as it was written in the original Greek, has a c. 3000 year history as the expression of the pinnacle of human culture in the West. Often rendered “excellence” in English or virtus in Latin, areté is indeed “virtue,” thus intrinsically linked to the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance and later, to the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love. Understood as moral excellence, areté was a key ethical term for Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero (and many other philosophers), as it was for Paul (Phil.4:8), Peter (1 Pet. 2:9) and other early Christian authors.
1 Peter 2:9 exemplifies how the Christian development of this term takes on divine implications. Human culture is infiltrated by the Incarnation, and Christ becomes the superlative model of human conduct. Of course, areté, in its most general use means simply “something good.” This was the meaning for Homer, the founder of Western literature, who even personified areté as the queen of the Phaeacians–humans who lived in extraordinary communion with the gods in the Odyssey. Thus, in both the specialized and in the general, both the classical and the Christian uses, this term aptly describes what CCS hopes for in both the content of this publication and the character of our community as we grow in Christ-likeness.