February 2014

Cover Story

Jesus' teaching about hell flipped popular imagery of the afterlife upside down—and offered a radical, transformative vision of God.


Why some of us love Jesus and don't like Paul.
An Israeli-American resister on the spiritual links between violence and nonviolence.
Where do our ideas about hell come from?
Cynthia Bourgeault explains how we can both seek social justice and do justice to our souls.


The Dividing Wall in America
"Stop and frisk" is unconstitutional race-based harassment—and it must end.
Just because racism is "tradition" doesn't make it right.
What does it take to reintegrate combatants into society?


We didn't eat for 22 days, but we did feast.
We give thanks for how he turned righteous anger into the power of reconciliation.
No animals were tested in the study. Just me.
by: Ed Spivey
The president has sought to placate the rich, powerful fossil fuel industry.
"When someone is faced with a gun and chooses to respond with respect and love, that's hope."
by: Jim Rice

Culture Watch

At peak usage, Netflix alone now accounts for one-third of all internet traffic in the U.S.
Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community by Leah Kostamo
Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams / Social Music by Jon Batiste and Stay Human / What Do We Tell the Children: Talking to Kids About Death and Dying by Joseph M. Primo / The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy is Shaping the Church by Phyllis Tickle and John M. Sweeney
A hopeful encounter with real-life "God's Gardeners."
The 10 best U.S. films of 2013.
Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace. Cascade Books
Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith. White Cloud Press


I smiled when reading the story about the Methodist minister, Teresa MacBain, who became an atheist (“Help Thou My Unbelief”).
Marty Troyer has touched something deep within me when he writes, “Racialization is something we need to cleanse ourselves of daily, like flossing our teeth” (“Subverting the Myth,” December 2013).
I liked Ryan Ahlgrim’s “Help Thou My Unbelief” (November 2013), as he acknowledges what many of us experience: struggling with doubt and definition as we profess to “have” faith.
With regard to the megacorps buying up all our water (“The Great American Water Crisis,” by Maude Barlow and Wenonah Hauter, November 2013): We are witnessing what a 14th-century preachers’ manual, Fasciculus Morum
Thank you very much for Danny Duncan Collum’s article “Learning from the Unspeakable” (November 2013).
If my belief were a hickory nut / I'd keep it safe in my pocket
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A

Web Extra

These magazine articles and blog posts published by Sojourners through the years pay tribute to the great South African leader.
People go to great lengths for those they love, especially when it comes to immigration reform.
Yousef Bashir's remarkable story of reconciliation.
Indigenous American leaders speak out against the Washington NFL team’s mascot.