Jim Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. He served on President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum.
Jim is the author of 12 books. His most recent book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, was released in January 2016. His other books include: On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery; The Great Awakening:Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America; and God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.
He is president and founder of Sojourners, where he is also editor-in-chief of Sojourners, which has a combined print and online readership of more than 5 million people. Jim frequently speaks in the United States and abroad. His columns appear in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe. He frequently appears on radio and television as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox—on shows such as Meet the Press and Hardball—and on National Public Radio. He has taught at Harvard University, Georgetown University, and a variety of other academic institutions.
Jim was raised in a Midwest evangelical family. As a teenager, his questioning of the racial segregation in his church and community led him to the black churches and neighborhoods of inner-city Detroit. He spent his student years involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements. Jim founded Sojourners while a student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. Jim and several other students started a small magazine and community with a Christian commitment to social justice. More than 40 years later, Sojourners has grown into a national faith-based organization. In 1979, Time magazine named Wallis one of the "50 Faces for America's Future."
Jim lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Joy Carroll, one of the first women ordained in the Church of England and author of Beneath the Cassock: The Real-Life Vicar of Dibley, and their young sons, Luke and Jack. He was a Little League baseball coach for 11 years — 22 seasons.
Authors Jim Wallis and Eddie Glaude Jr. join Morning Joe to discuss the water crisis in Flint and how racial geography impacts the country.
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How does faith inform public debates on social justice in U.S. politics? How should religious leaders and politicians engage the political process while maintaining their moral witness? Since the fall of 2011, Jim Wallis has been addressing these questions in a course he teaches at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. He leads the class through a series of topics that intersect religion, society, and politics. Sojourners and the Berkley Center have now made this course available online through video recordings and course packets.
The (Un)common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided
Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus' ancient and compelling vision of the common good — a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world. The (Un)Common Good is the revised and updated paperback edition of On God's Side and includes a new preface.
On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good
On God's Side examines the deepest problems this world faces. What we need is a commitment to an ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good. How do we work together, even with people we don’t agree with? How do we treat each other, especially the poorest and most vulnerable? How do we take care of not just ourselves, but also one another? Wallis tackles these questions and more in this challenging, yet hopeful book.
The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World
What would it take to change the world? What would it take to end extreme poverty, to address climate change, to create peace? For too long, a narrow religious agenda has been used like a wedge to divide people. But a wider and deeper vision of faith and values is emerging. It's a renewal of faith – a great awakening – that combines personal faith with social justice. A new social movement is on the rise. The Great Awakening is upon us.
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
God's Politics offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition. Our biblical faith and religious traditions simply do not allow us as a nation to continue to ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of war, or turn away from the human rights of those made in the image of God. These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not.
Faith Works: How Faith-based Organizations are Changing Lives, Neighborhoods, and America
"In Faith Works, Jim Wallis has woven together a detailed road map for those interested in loosening the chains of social injustice. This book is a powerful resource for change!" Millard Fuller, Founder and President, Habitat for Humanity International
The Soul of Politics: Beyond 'Religious Right' and 'Secular Left'
Jim Wallis responds to signs of cultural breakdown and political impasse with a resounding and highly moving call to reintegrate politics and spirituality - a call for a new political morality combining social justice with personal responsibility.
The Call to Conversion: Recovering the Gospel for These Times
Jim Wallis explores Jesus' call to God's community and away from worldly standards, the churches' betrayal of the call, and the possibilities for a new response.
Posts By This Author
Gratitude As a Spiritual Practice: 10 Reasons to Be Thankful
Gratitude, say religious leaders from many traditions, is one of the most important spiritual disciplines for a whole and healing life. And the discipline of remembering what and who you are most grateful for is especially important in difficult and even dangerous times like these. There are gratitude prayers, meditations, and walks, which focus our minds and hearts on the things and people we are most thankful for when we are most easily conscious of the things and people who make our times most difficult and even dangerous.
4 Ways to (Successfully) Talk Politics Over the Holidays
I believe that there are moral issues, values choices, and faith matters that lie just beneath the political headlines. Conversations around those — leading to action — can get us further than our political debates. I also believe there are two great hungers in our world today: the hunger for spirituality and the hunger for justice, and the connection between the two is absolutely vital now.
How the NRA Enables Domestic Terrorism
When interviewed about the shooting, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who was endorsed by the NRA — said, “at least we have the opportunity to have concealed carry,” adding that “there’s always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out.”
It’s a position pushed frequently by the NRA. It’s the perspective NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre promoted after the Newtown, famously saying, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” suggesting that elementary school teachers should be armed. And now, pastors? Greeters? Sunday school teachers?
The People Keeping the American DREAM Alive
Many of us became deeply involved in the struggle for immigration reform because we strongly believe that fixing our broken immigration system is much more than a political issue or a legal question; it is a moral imperative, and it’s long overdue. The Bible does not lead us to a particular bill or piece of legislation. But our faith as Christians compels us to struggle for a more humane, more compassionate, and more sensible immigration system. Indeed, the Scriptures could not be clearer.
Lying Has Consequences
Yesterday, we saw the first wave of what is expected to be a much longer investigation into possible Russian collusion. And while reporters and pundits dig into the timeline, what struck me the most about the revelation is that the downfall of those named was lying — lying to federal agents about money and lying about contacts between representatives of the Russian government and representatives of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
As a Father of Sons: Confronting the Culture of Toxic Masculinity
Reading and hearing the stories of sexual predator Harvey Weinstein's assaults against so many women has been painful for all of us. The sense of powerful male entitlement to harass, abuse, or assault whomever they want, and by any means necessary, crosses political lines from Weinstein to Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes of Fox News, to Bill Clinton, to current President of the United States Donald Trump. From Hollywood, to the media, to Washington, to workplaces and college campuses and even churches in our country and beyond, this male predatory behavior is common. This Sunday’s Washington Post Outlook cover headline put it well: “A World of Weinsteins."
A Prayer for the Soul of the Nation
OVER THE PAST several months, Republicans in Congress tried time after time to make good on their seven-year threat to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Each time a wide variety of groups stepped up to protect the vulnerable and ensure that millions of Americans continue to receive the health care they deserve. At several critical junctures, Christians played an important role.
This summer, for instance, a clear witness against health-care repeal was brought together by the Circle of Protection, a coalition of Christians we help convene who have come together around the biblical mandate to protect poor and vulnerable people. All the families of our faith—the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Council of Churches, the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army, and most of our denominations—came together to say: We may differ on many things, but we are joining to protect the people Christ has called us to protect. The group urged political leaders to pursue “options that do not ask our poorest neighbors to bear most of the weight of budget and health-care cuts.”
Back in July, on the very day a repeal vote was scheduled, about 20 of us showed up outside the Senate chamber door in response to a request from a senator. We were from many different traditions and denominations—Catholic, evangelical, Protestant, black churches, Latino churches—and we started praying outside the door.
The Religious Right Will Rise and Fall with Donald Trump
A widely-respected white evangelical leader recently expressed to me his personal agony over how “white evangelicalism has destroyed the ‘evangel’ of Jesus — the bringing of ‘good news’ to the poor.” Another leader of a top national evangelical organization told me in a personal conversation that evangelical support of Trump “will destroy our integrity for at least a generation.”
Trump Threatens Both Nuclear War and the First Amendment
As Father Richard McSorley of Georgetown University wrote years ago, “It’s a sin to build a nuclear weapon.” We once put that on a poster. Perhaps it’s time to put the poster back up.
What Would Taking a Knee for Racial Justice Look Like Outside of Professional Sports?
Yes, take a knee, indeed, and act in every way you can — in every venue in which you have influence — to participate in the slow, painstaking, uncomfortable, but absolutely urgent task of dismantling white supremacy.
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