Our favorite part of being editors at Sojourners is the interviews.
Conversations with people like Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Vincent Lloyd, Justin Jones, and Valarie Kaur have helped articulate and challenge our notions of Christianity and social justice. In launching The Reconstruct, Sojourners’ newest newsletter, we hope to continue what we have been doing, but with more regularity: Offering thoughtful, constructive conversations with folks who are changing the world and reforming our faith.
Each week, we’ll talk with artists, activists, authors, scholars, contemplatives, and others who are willing to name the ways our world and churches are broken. And critically, we’ll talk with them about how their work is part of a better future.
We like how Christian abolitionist Hannah Bowman, one of our first interviewees, articulated it: “Part of our self-understanding as Christians is that God has intervened in the world in a way that makes it better and that God is doing something that is fundamentally changing the world and that changes what we can imagine as possible.”
A note about the name: Reconstruction is, of course, a wink and a nod to “deconstruction,” which has dominated conversations in Christian culture over the last several years. While much of deconstruction work is commendable for dismantling harmful theologies, we have been especially interested in the project of building something better.
It’s also in recognition of the fact that we can’t ignore the past, including other periods in history where we’ve tried to account for our sins, like the Reconstruction Era in U.S. history. Christianity is part of the public sphere, and it has long shaped how we understand race, religion, and democracy. If we want to build a better future, those of us who are Christians will have to reckon with our past and rebuild. And we have a lot to learn from our non-Christian neighbors.
We hope you’ll join us by reading and subscribing to our free newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know when we publish new interviews and have access to bonus material that we won’t publish online, including additional interview questions, reading recommendations (and listening and watching recommendations), plus behind-the-scenes content.