Jim Rice

Editor, Sojourners magazine
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Jim Rice is editor of Sojourners magazine. He has also served as managing editor of the magazine, director of Sojourners Outreach Ministry, and coordinator of Sojourners Peace Ministry.

Prior to joining Sojourners, Rice was an organizer for the Center for Peace Studies at Georgetown University. He was founder and co-director of Pax Christi: Washington's Peace Education Program and producer of the multimedia "Anatomy of the Nuclear Arms Race." In addition, Rice served on the founding National Committee, Executive Committee, and Direct Action Task Force of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, and he was treasurer of the Nuclear Weapons Education Fund. Before moving to D.C., Rice was the hunger action coordinator for the Oregon Center for Peace and Justice in Portland, Ore., and he spent two years as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. He has been a member of the national advisory board for Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding and a research fellow for the New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary and Christian Theological Seminary.

Rice, a graduate of Seattle University, is a native of Richland, Wash., the bedroom community of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Rice was a long-time member of Sojourners Community, an intentional Christian renewal community located in inner-city Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Dawn, have two children, Jessica and Adam. He is a member of Hyattsville Mennonite Church outside of Washington.

Selected Sojourners articles by Jim Rice

'Simple is the New Chic'

In John Carr's view, Pope Francis is already shaking up the Catholic Church -- and the best is yet to come.

The Party of No Compromise

GOP attempts to circumvent the health-care law range from the inane to downright bullying.

Our Dolls, Our Selves

Even at their best, toys like the American Girls Dolls send a mix message.

Future's So Bright.

"Given the option of paying more for dirty power or paying less for clean power, what would you take?" May 2013

'A World Without Nuclear Weapons'

The way to stop is to stop. March 2013

Who Speaks for Catholics?

Before the election, several bishops went so far as to threaten their parishioners with eternal damnation if they voted for Obama. January 2013

Our Endorsement for President

The constraints on political engagement by nonprofits can be frustrating for those committed to social change. November 2012

'A Clash of Fanaticisms'

We'll never reach reconciliation between Christians and Muslims until we address root causes—and take on the haters. November 2012

Drones: War Crimes and Misdemeanors

Hey Pres. Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize committee is calling. They want their medal back. August 2012

Fairness for Whom?

Fairness matters, especially for people on society’s margins—and that conviction goes far beyond tax equity to every aspect of public policy. For people of the Book, it’s much more important than politics; it’s a matter of faith. June 2012

Obesity in a World of Hunger

A new definition of malnutrition is emerging, as formerly developing countries are globalized into “fast-food nation” lifestyles. May 2012

Are Voter-ID Laws Racist?

More than 5 million voters could be affected by new Voter-ID laws and (coincidentally?) a disproportionate number of them are people of color. April 2012

Occupy the Future

The Occupy movement has already established its legacy -- by changing the nation's conversation about wealth inequality.March 2012

'Power to the People'

Renewable energy sources aren't just safer than nuclear power -- they're also cheaper. June 2011

'Tear Down This Wall'

An interview with Palestinian Christian activist Sami Awad on why nonviolence is key to Middle East justice. May 2010

Composting with Worms (a “how-to” video)

Sojourners editor Jim Rice and his family have been composting with worms for more than a decade. In this video how-to, he shares 7 steps to composting with worms. December 2009

The Path to Peace in the Middle East

Lessons from Gaza. March 2009

The Meaning of 'Life'

Once thought to be in the pocket of the Religious Right, many American evangelicals today are discovering a deeper understanding of what it means to be pro-life. With Jeannie Choi. November 2008

The Roots of Justice Revival

During the Second Great Awakening, the fruits of conversion included social reform. April 2008

Loving our Neighbors

Christian-Muslim dialogue raises hope - and suspicion. April 2008

Being There

"God's Smuggler" Brother Andrew has an odd way of breaking down barriers between Christians and Muslims. But somehow it works. March 2008

Is Nuclear Power the Answer?

Proponents claim that nuclear energy is the power source of the future - clean, green, and safe. Are they right? Cover feature. August 2007

A Rubicon Crossed

The church consensus is solidifying on the need to save the planet. April 2007

Gandhi For Today

How would Mahatma Gandhi confront terrorism today? And what action would the apostle of nonviolence take in response to the wars waged in the name of anti-terrorism? A review of David Cortright’s “Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism.” December 2006

Hope Amid the Ruins

Out of the carnage of Middle East war, can real peace ever be achieved? September/October 2006

Nonviolence is Our Only Hope

In the Middle East, only justice for all is justice at all. August 2005

Reagan's Legacy

On mourning in America. August 2004

The Burden of Truth. An interview with two former CIA analysts on the lies behind the Iraq war and the heavy weight of conscience. November-December 2003

"School Choice" Passes a Test. A victory for vouchers -- but who wins? September-October 2002

Sins of the Fathers. The deepest guilt is the church's. May-June 2002

Unfoolish Consistency. Moral principles, not politics, guide the bishops. January-February 2001

Core Values. The Broetjes, owners of the largest apple orchard in Washington state, had a crazy idea -- to treat their workers like people. November-December 2000

A Blank Check for China? China is the current battleground -- as Seattle was last fall -- over the rules of global trade. May-June 2000

Sandino Lives! Actually, even in Nicaragua, revolutionary fervor isn't what it used to be. March-April 2000

Rome Not Quite Ready for Women Priests. November-December 1998

Whatever Happened to Lt. Calley? November-December 1998

A Squandered Opportunity. The biggest obstacle to Palestinian Democracy may well be the emerging state's founding father, Yasir Arafat. July-August 1997

Why Play? Contemplation, freedom, and the spirit of leisure. January-February 1997

Bernardin's Most Important Year. November-December 1996

Beyond the Nuclear Test Ban. November-December 1996

Crack, Contras, and the CIA. November-December 1996

With "Friends" Like These. What to do about sleazy TV? May-June 1996

Justifying the Next War. The real-world effects of the just war theory. March-April 1996

Into Bosnia. Mixed motives and good fruit. January-February 1996

Getting Beyond Labels. Serpents, doves, and the Religious Right. March-April 1995

"Cautious Optimism" on Haiti. Reconciliation in Haiti must be preceded by repentance and rooted in truth. November 1994

The Armor of Righteousness. The Christian Right makes its bid for the political mainstream. November 1994

Where Angels Fear to Tread. November 1994

Shifting Terrain in Korea. Without Jimmy Carter's risky pilgrimage, the world would be a more dangerous place. September-October 1994

Too Many People? The unavoidable reality is that where there is severe poverty, adding more people makes the suffering worse. August 1994

Seeking Common Ground on Abortion. July 1994

The Last Comeback of Richard Nixon. July 1994

World Bank/IMF: 50 Years Is Enough. The Bank will not change its economic model without outside pressure. July 1994

When Dignity Is Assaulted. Biblically based Christians must forcefully oppose this deceptive, homophobic campaign of the Far Right. February-March 1994

NAFTA's Fatal Flaws. December 1993

Be Like Mike? Michael Jordan or Madonna may be worth talking about, but they arguably serve no principle beyond themselves. September-October 1993

Saying No to Bigotry. Why the church must stand up for gay rights. February-March 1993

Cultures in Conflict. Inner-city tensions explode on the streets of Washington, D.C. . July 1991

SDI-Lite: Old Wine in New Skins. May 1991

On The Front Lines Of Resistance. Conscientious objectors struggle for recognition. April 1991

Mistakes Were Made…. Will the Nuclear Industry's Post-Cold War PR Campaign Work? January 1991

Posts By This Author

War Crimes and Misdemeanors

by Jim Rice 08-01-2012

Drone, Oleg Yarko / Shutterstock.com

Hey Pres. Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize committee is calling. They want their medal back.

A Spirituality of Privacy

by Jim Rice 07-12-2012
Facebook screenshot, Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com

Facebook screenshot, Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com

Politically, the right to online privacy seems like a no-brainer. Just as employers, and the government, shouldn’t be allowed to snoop through one’s personal diary or journal, the privacy of our digital records should be likewise respected, in law and in practice.

But biblically, theologically, and spiritually, it gets more complicated. For instance, what would a “spirituality of privacy” look like? At the core of spirituality is a connection with the divine. That begins in our heart of hearts and is by necessity a private, solitary practice. But it doesn’t end there. Genuine, life-transforming spirituality is personal, but never “private,” in the sense of “restricted to me alone.” Rather, spirituality is about the connection between a person and the divine and about the connection between a person and other people. In other words, there is an essential communal, public aspect of spirituality. Genuine spiritual enlightenment leads not only to an enriching of our connection with God, but with one another as well. Thus in some ways the distinction between a “private” spirituality and our public face is an artificial one, and at our best these two aspects of our being will be in harmonious synchronicity.

Fairness for Whom?

by Jim Rice 06-01-2012

Fairness matters, especially for people on society’s margins—and that conviction goes far beyond tax equity to every aspect of public policy. For people of the Book, it’s much more important than politics; it’s a matter of faith.

Obesity in a World of Hunger

by Jim Rice 05-01-2012

A new definition of malnutrition is emerging, as formerly developing countries are globalized into “fast-food nation” lifestyles.

Are Voter-ID Laws Racist?

by Jim Rice 04-01-2012

More than 5 million voters could be affected by new Voter-ID laws and (coincidentally?) a disproportionate number of them are people of color.

Occupy the Future

by Jim Rice 03-01-2012

Occupy has already succeeded, its legacy already established: It has changed the conversation.

Epiphany: A Light to the World

by Jim Rice 01-09-2012
A 16th-century depiction of the Epiphany from Germany. Via http://bit.ly/yeOf4J

A 16th-century depiction of the Epiphany from Germany. Via http://bit.ly/yeOf4J

Activist theologian Bill Wylie-Kellermann wrote that the Epiphany season "begins and ends in light. From the heavenly star to the radiant robes of transfiguration, Epiphany is about revelation, the kind of sudden brightness that lights up the landscape of a mind or a community or a whole social order. The light reveals, but not passively; it summons and sends."

In popular understanding, of course, Epiphany is about the visit of the Magi, "wise men" from the East bearing gifts for the newborn Christ child. Since these Gentile visitors come from foreign lands, their search for Jesus and their homage to him have stood as sign and symbol that Christ's salvation knows no boundaries. (The parallels with our age, with the potential of digital media to transcend all boundaries, begin to suggest themselves.)

The story of the Magi has a dark side as well, mostly ignored in Christendom's celebration of Epiphany. On their way to find the babe, the travelers pay a visit first to Herod's court, where they're told to report back to him the location of the newborn. Fortunately, the wise men practice direct civil disobedience to the royal command, and thus they and the holy family escape Herod's wrath. But the children of Bethlehem, the "holy innocents," suffer the tragic consequences of Herod's duplicity. The lessons about relating to authority (i.e., the need to be "wise as serpents") are loud and clear.

What Karl Barth Says about Blog Comments

by Jim Rice 08-30-2011

The comment code of conduct for the God's Politics blog includes familiar commitments to civility, courtesy, and respect, and even connects these pledges to biblical passages. But what if we went a step further in our understanding of blog comments -- and, for that matter, all of our online communication? What if we recognized our forays into online commentary as doing theological work?

Karl Barth invites that kind of thinking in his 1963 Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. In his chapter on the "community" -- a word that he argues is, theologically speaking, much better than "church" to describe the body of believers -- Barth makes the case that each member of the community of faith has the responsibility to bear witness to the Word. We do so, Barth says, in our very existence, in our service to "the handicapped, weak, and needy" in the world, and in our prayer. The community also does so in spoken and written words by which it "attempts to make its faith audible."

New Models of the Church in a New Media World

by Jim Rice 08-10-2011

In his seminal 1974 book Models of the Church, theologian Avery Dulles offered five paradigms, or "models," each of which called attention to certain aspects of the worldwide Christian church. The church, Dulles wrote, is in essence a mystery -- a reality of which we cannot speak directly. Thus we must draw on analogies to understand the church in deeper ways.

Dulles developed five models, drawing on a range of theological schools and traditions, both Protestant and Catholic, to illuminate different aspects of the church. His models included church as institution, mystical communion, sacrament, herald, and servant. Dulles was careful to point out that no single model, by itself, adequately paints a complete picture of the church; each contains important insights about the nature of the church.

Are Books a Thing of the Past?

by Jim Rice 07-19-2011

Kindle 3photo © 2010 Zhao ! | more info (via: Wylio)Sales of printed books are down 9 percent this year, supplanted in part by digital versions on Kindles, Nooks, and even iPhone apps. But the real threat to long-form, hard-copy reading -- that is, paper books -- is inside our heads, according to Johann Hari, a columnist for the Independent in London.

"The mental space [books] occupied is being eroded by the thousand Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all," Hari told me last week. "It's hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books."

[Okay, I admit I didn't actually talk with Hari. The quote is from his newspaper column. But pop over to Twitter, and you can see how, in effect, he gave me permission to paraquote him at #interviewbyhari.]

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, long-form reading. Hari quotes David Ulin, author of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, who wrote that he "became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read." Ulin wrote that he would sit down with a book, and find his mind wandering, enticing him to check his email, or Twitter, or Facebook. "What I'm struggling with," he writes, "is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there's something out there that merits my attention."

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