We love hearing from readers. In emails, tweets, surveys, or the occasional handwritten letter (!), you write things like “finding this article was really helpful in restoring my faith,” as one reader wrote in response to Katherine Pater’s article on Jeremiah 1:5. Other times, you alert us that we, eek, made a zoological error confusing sheep and goats, as one reader noted after reading Jenna Barnett’s humor piece on biblical beards. Sometimes your notes express gratitude; sometimes you think we are “the handmaiden of Satan” (yep, that’s a direct quote). Either way, we read your messages carefully.
We also notice when a lot of you — say, tens of thousands of you — read the same article. Our mission is to publish stories that will inform, inspire, and challenge you as much as they’ve informed, inspired, and challenged us; when we see pageviews start to climb, we know we’ve struck a chord.
Yet here at Sojourners, we believe following Jesus means being “creatively maladjusted” to the dominant definitions of success; for us as editors, this means resisting the tyranny of fickle algorithms that have so much power in determining which stories get read and which don’t. We love the 10 stories listed below, but each year we publish hundreds of beautiful and important stories, interviews, columns, reflections, reviews, and poems — and darn it, we aren’t gonna let algorithms tell us (or you!) what stories matter most.
So below are the 10 articles from 2022 that captured the most pageviews this year. But we also are including 12 articles that you may have missed, as recommended by our editors. We’re proud to publish them all — and grateful for your readership.
1. About That Bible Verse You See on Anti-Abortion Signs
For many Christians, Jeremiah 1:5 — “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” — is about when life begins. But the passage deserves more than a plain-text reading. By Katherine Pater
2. Wipf and Stock To Pull ‘Bad and Boujee’ From Publication, Distribution
Jennifer M. Buck’s book, Bad and Boujee: Toward a Trap Feminist Theology, was criticized for its treatment and representations of Black women and their ideas. By Mitchell Atencio
3. 10 Christian Women Shaping the Church in 2022
These women are leading the church to become a more inclusive, bold, accessible, creative, and action-oriented community of believers. By Olivia Bardo
4. ‘Men’ Shows Christianity’s Horrifying Legacy of Blaming Women
The narrative of the Fall is a genius backdrop for a film exploring the connections between blame and trauma. By Brandon Grafius
5. What Happens When White Identity Comes Before Christian Faith?
In the U.S. today, two-thirds of white Christians practice a “religion of whiteness,” a new study finds. By Michael O. Emerson
6. As a Christian, I Want to Reduce Abortion, Not Overturn Roe
It shouldn’t be controversial to say, “I don’t want to criminalize abortion” and “I want to ensure there are fewer unwanted pregnancies.” But it is. By Adam Russell Taylor
7. Why Was Noah Silent at the End of the World?
Finding the courage to argue with those who claim to speak for God. By Patty Krawec
8. My Church Was Right: Harry Potter Was a Threat to My Faith
Twenty-five years later, I have problems with Harry Potter and its author ... but not the ones my church warned me about. By Heather Brady
9. Actually, ‘They’ Is a Beautiful Pronoun for God
We need more expansive language to describe the fullness of God. By Chloe Specht
10. What’s the Difference Between the NIV, NRSV, and Other Bible Translations?
We asked a biblical scholar to answer some of the most common Bible translation questions. By Emerson Powery
And here are 12 editor-recommended stories that you may have missed:
Mitchell Atencio, associate news editor of sojo.net, recommends Josiah R. Daniels’ interview “Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò Reconsiders ‘Centering the Marginalized’” and Hannah Bowman’s “ Criminalizing Abortion Prevents Compassionate Choices.”
Jenna Barnett, senior associate culture editor of Sojourners, recommends Lydia Wylie-Kellermann’s “Raising Children for Joy in the Face of Climate Catastrophe.”
Rose Marie Berger, senior editor of Sojourners, recommends Andrea M. Couture’s “Creating a Sense of Reverence for Every Species,” Chuck Collins’ “How to Hide Wealth ,” and Sakena Young-Scaggs’ “The Future of the Black Church Rests in Its Ability to Evolve.”
Josiah R. Daniels, associate opinion editor of sojo.net, recommends Mitchell Atencio’s interview “What Does White Christian Nationalism Even Mean, Anyway?” and Tyler Huckabee’s “Can Elon Musk Fit Through the Eye of a Needle?”
Betsy Shirley, editor of sojo.net, recommends Mitchell Atencio’s “Blood Donation Is Crucial to My Faith” and Caroline McTeer’s “Why I Can’t Stop Watching ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Absurd Pastors.”