Associate Editor (1970-2014)

Elizabeth Palmberg is the daughter of one science fiction fan and one Presbyterian elder who is federally licensed to dispense medicinal marijuana (although she would like to point out that he, a glaucoma specialist, only prescribes it in the less than .1% of cases in which it works better than eyedrops). She grew up in St. Louis, MO and Miami, FL, with an older and younger sister, both of whom have waist-length hair.

Her long history of meddling with other people's writing began in her first weeks of college; she escalated from editing the papers of hapless friends to editing (as a tutor) the papers of people she didn't even know. Eventually, she went on to doctoral work in English at Cornell University, where the unsuspecting administration allowed her to teach a first-year writing seminar on "Scary Stories of the Nineteenth Century." While at Cornell, she dwelt in Flapdragon House, whose denizens enticed her into the shadowy underworld that is Lindy Hop. After seven years of "gradual school," she gained three letters to add to her name, and went off to teach for a year each at Kenyon College and Scripps College.

Although Victorian British literature is interesting, it turns out that social justice (particularly relating to economic globalization) is even more interesting. Ways in which people imagine economics kept winding their way into all her courses, including "Love Stories of the Nineteenth Century" and "The Clichés From Space: Gender and Science Fiction." In 2002, the Lord smote her upside of the head and instructed her to go seek a career working for a progressive Christian nonprofit.

She's found a home at Sojourners, first as an intern ("editorial assistant"), and now as an assistant editor. She's enthusiastic about (in descending order) Jesus, Sojourners' switch to monthly publication, and bittersweet chocolate.

Elizabeth Palmberg died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Washington, D.C., on the morning of June 23, 2014. Per her wishes, memorial donations in her name may be made to any of the following: Christ House (1717 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009); St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church (1525 Newton Street NW, Washington, DC 20010); Sojourners Internship Program (PO Box 70730, Washington, DC 20024-0730) .

Posts By This Author

Eco-Justice: Getting There from Here

by Elizabeth Palmberg 06-19-2009
As I look at where we need to get, pronto -- 350 parts per million or less carbon in the atmosphere, sustainable use of planetary resources, and a world economy consistent with those things -- and

Sojourners Magazine: We've Got a New Look!

by Elizabeth Palmberg 06-18-2009
Sojourners magazine just had its first redesign in my seven years of working here, and all I can say is "wow," because I have a limited graphic-design vocabulary.

Peru: People and Rainforests in Peril

by Elizabeth Palmberg 06-09-2009

Money Creation and Idolatry: How did we let this happen?

by Elizabeth Palmberg 06-01-2009
In our recent blog, we described how money "creation" meets the needs of a gradually expanding economy

Obama's Envoy to Sudan

by Elizabeth Palmberg 06-01-2009

In March, the Obama administration appointed J. Scott Gration as the U.S. special envoy to Sudan.

The Consensus Problem

by Elizabeth Palmberg 05-22-2009
The folks at NPR's Planet Money podcast have already sort of repented for verbally badgering Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and high government official who happens to be female, in

A Big Problem for Land Justice

by Elizabeth Palmberg 05-18-2009
Why should the world turn away from huge, monocropped factory farms? Pick the reason you like best.

God or Country?

by Elizabeth Palmberg 05-12-2009" href=""">

Climate Change Around the World: Audio Interviews

by Elizabeth Palmberg 05-01-2009
Stories from the global South about how global warming is already harming people in poor nations, and suggestions for how to respond.

M2EP Live: Why We're Here, part II

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-29-2009
Live from the halls of the Mobilization, here are a few more quotes about faith and justice work from some of the fantastic people who are here!

M2EP Live: Frederick Haynes on God's Grammar

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-28-2009
My favorite part of last night's powerful worship service at the Mobilization was when Rev.

M2EP Live: Charlotte Keys Update

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-27-2009
I was delighted to run into Charlotte Keys, head of Jesus People Against Pollution of Columbia, MS, whom I'd

M2EP Live: Why We're Here

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-27-2009
Before and after the worship service tonight, I got a chance to chat with just a few of the thousand-plus people coming to the Mobilization. Here's what they had to say:

M2EP Live: Blogging and Twitter from the Mobilization to End Poverty

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-24-2009
Here in the Sojo offices, all is abustle as we complete preparations for The Mobilization to End Poverty (it's not too late for you to make plans to a

Voices of Global Climate Change, Part II: Leo Atakpu

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-24-2009
Nigerian activist Leo Atakpu is a busy guy -- he advocates for debt cancellation, opposes water privatization, and speaks out against climate change.

Voices of Global Climate Change, Part I: Fe' Kaho Tevi

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-23-2009
Often, when we hear about global warming, what we get on the news is statistics that are hard to take in.

Readers Speak Out on Body Image and Faith

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-08-2009
Many thanks to the folks who answered our request for your thoughts and stories about

A Higher Authority for Sudan's President

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-06-2009
Sudanese President al-Bashir's recent v

The Body of Christ Needs to Talk About Body Image

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-01-2009

Nadezhda Bolotina / Shutterstock

“This is my body, broken for you,” Jesus says to us in the central mystery of our faith. “Take and eat.” Eating is an inherently good activity, a channel of God’s goodness.

But in recent decades, this well has been poisoned for huge numbers of people. Anorexia, rare until the 1970s, today affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States. Perhaps twice that number have or are recovering from bulimia, a cycle of binge eating and purging (through vomiting or laxatives); millions more have binge eating alone. Up to one in five people with anorexia die from it—the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness. Eating disorders devastate the body, eroding teeth and bones, and stopping kidneys and hearts.

Christians certainly are not immune from eating disorders (they were “everywhere” at evangelical Wheaton College, one alum in recovery reports). But when was the last time you heard eating disorders mentioned in church? The body of Christ has a vocation to speak truth about the deadly idols of this present age, but instead we’ve kept a deafening silence.

Worse, underneath that silence are rubrics that reinforce rather than unravel the problems. You’re damned if you diet (vanity!) and damned if you don’t (gluttony!). Desire (for food or anything else) is blamed on the body, and both are lumped together as potential causes of sin. Old-fashioned sexism or newer libertarianism both give a pass to the hypersexualization and commodification of women.

More Resources on Eating Disorders and Eating

by Elizabeth Palmberg 04-01-2009