Josiah R. Daniels (he/him) is the associate opinion editor at sojo.net. He is a native of the southwest suburbs of Chicago, but currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife.
The first thing Josiah ever wrote was a devotion for his youth group when he was 13. And while that devotion was never published (this is for the best), it did solidify his love for writing. His writing centers around race, politics, and religion. His other interests, such as hard bop and avant-garde jazz, sci-fi, cults, and the Hebrew Bible, also appear in his writing. Josiah has written for Geez magazine, The Bias Magazine, Religion Dispatches, and Sojourners, which has been Josiah’s favorite magazine since his college days. NPR’s Weekend Edition interviewed him about a piece he wrote criticizing an ad campaign’s effort to rebrand Jesus.
Josiah lived on Chicago’s West Side for three years. There, his neighbors taught him the importance of integrating faith with direct action, a lesson that continues to influence him today.
When not reading, writing, or collaborating with authors, he is watching the Chicago Bulls, playing basketball, or taking full advantage of his PBS Passport membership. An atonal X user, he can be found @josiah_Rdaniels.
Posts By This Author
What ‘The X-Files’ Taught Me About Belief
I began to watch the show due to my love of sci-fi but the reason I finished all 218 episodes and remained faithful even throughout the 2016 reboot is because of Dana Scully. There’s not a more complex TV character than Scully: She is a medical doctor who knows karate and although she openly antagonizes her partner, Mulder, for placing stock in supernatural explanations instead of logical ones, she openly identifies as Catholic. Scully’s complexity gets to the heart of what the show is all about: the desire to believe.
Consider the Weeble: What Our Editors Are Reading
It’s certainly ironic, but as much as the news can get me down it can also lift me up. Yes, legislators are attempting to censor books that teach about racial (in)justice and human sexuality — Weeble down. But these lawmakers’ attempts to censor theories are only resulting in increased interest and open-mindedness among their constituents — Weeble up!
Have a Mary, Mary Christmas: What Our Editors Are Reading
During this Advent season, Sojourners has featured a heavy dose of Mary-oriented stories. As a Protestant, I was taught, similar to Amar Peterman, that we should “be wary of those who spoke of Mary ‘too much.’” But what’s so scary about Mary? Some evangelical Protestants say the reason we should be leery of revering Mary is because if we honor her too much, our faith becomes a cult.
Coltrane and Other Misbehaving Saints: What Our Editors Are Reading
Did you know jazz musician John Coltrane was canonized by the African Orthodox Church in 1982? Coltrane was canonized at the behest of a religious community in San Francisco which founded a church in his name, and St. John Coltrane Church is still alive and well today.
A Life of Their Own: What Our Editors Are Reading
Have you ever noticed how certain things seem to have a life of their own? Let me explain: From time to time, a piece of art, a song, a book, or even a face unexpectedly receives universal approval and then there seems to be no end to how it can be referenced, advertised, TikToked, or memed.
Monster or Human? It's a Fine Line: What Our Editors Are Reading
I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. I’ve always been more of an All Saints’ Day kinda guy. Just joking; truth is I try to resist the impulse to constantly make distinctions between “the world” and “the church.” The lines between sacred and profane, monster and human, are not easily distinguishable.
Danté Stewart Is Rekindling Black Theological Imagination
Danté Stewart is a product of two of the most powerful traditions in the United States: the Black Christian tradition and the Black literary tradition. In his new book, Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle, Stewart traces how these traditions have touched his life and why he believes they can heal the Christian church and the United States.
Valarie Kaur Wants the U.S. to Recognize the Second Ground Zero
On Sept. 15, 2001, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man, was killed while he was planting flowers at the gas station he owned in Mesa, Ariz., becoming the first victim of post-9/11 hate crimes. For then-college student Valarie Kaur, the murder of “Balbir Uncle”— as he is known to Kaur and others in the Sikh community — was a pivotal moment.
Silently Singing Amid the Noise: What Our Editors Are Reading
The only solution to this noisy world is good noise from people who are attuned to the world’s hurt.
My Coffee Testimony: What Our Editors Are Reading
Whenever I am writing, editing, or reading, it feels wrong to be without a cup of coffee (black, no sugar). I know I am not the only editor who feels this way. [Editor’s note: Can confirm] Also, I feel confident in speaking for the editorial team when I say the 10 stories we have picked for you this week are best enjoyed with a piping-hot cup of joe.
Hello, God? Yeah, We Got A Mess Down Here: What Our Editors Are Reading
I think we usually ask these questions in a penitential key: “Where was God during this tragedy?” Being a human is difficult — so difficult that it is not only hard to imagine someone created us, but also that there exists anything outside of the mess we’ve created. We often collapse in on each other — whether by accident or on purpose.
Six Books That Helped Me Think Critically About Race and Theology
For those who are just beginning to think critically about racial identity, the creation of whiteness, and how race interacts with our faith and theology, this list offers some helpful places to start.
Everything Stolen This Week: What Our Editors Are Reading
Allow us to steal a few minutes of your attention for stories that will steal your heart.
Wins and Losses: What Our Editors Are Reading
More than usual this past week, I've needed small reminders about the possibility of justice. Why? Well, this week is the week of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Who Is The Real Monster? Reviewing Netflix’s ‘Monster’
Director Anthony Mandler's movie Monster, focuses in on a myriad of social issues — race, class, mass incarceration, crime, and the U.S. penal system — but it also is a monster movie of sorts.
Black Like Jazz: Imagining a World Without Police
Two important promises I’ve made to myself: I will never again watch a video of a person being lynched by the police and I will not allow my writing to be used in a way that makes Black pain a spectacle.
Take This Injera: What Our Editors Are Reading
If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience an Ethiopian meal, you are missing out. I have Ethiopian family members, so I frequently get to enjoy this cuisine. A regular meal for us could be something like doro wat, gomen, atkilt wat, and mesir wat. No meal is complete without a boona, or coffee, chaser. But as incredible as it is, coffee is not the defining trademark of Ethiopian cuisine. That distinction belongs solely to injera.
How to Juggle: What Our Editors Are Reading
Lil Nas X, Godzilla, and the (unofficial) patron saint of the internet.
No More Begging For Our Humanity
Black people don’t always end up dead when encountering police. But we almost always end up wounded.