Julie has been a member of the Sojourners magazine editorial staff since 1990. For the last several years she has edited the award-winning Culture Watch section of the magazine. In her time at Sojourners she has written about a wide variety of political and cultural topics, from the abortion debate to the working class blues. She has coordinated in-depth coverage of Flannery O’Connor, campaign finance reform, Howard Thurman, the labor movement, and much more.
She studied English literature at Ohio State University and has an M.T.S. (focused on language and narrative theology) from Boston University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from George Mason University.
Julie grew up on a farm in the northwest corner of Ohio. She has been fascinated by the power of religious expression in and through culture since she can remember. Obsessively listening to her older sister’s copy of the Jesus Christ Superstar cast recording when she was 10 was an especially crystallizing experience. In addition, Julie’s mother often argued about doctrine and the Bible and took her at least weekly to the public library, both of which were useful background for Julie’s current work.
She lives in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and is a member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (where she had an unlikely four-year reign as rummage sale czarina). Her personal interests overlap nicely with her professional ones: Music, books, reading entertainment, culture, and religion writing, art, architecture, TV, films, and knowing more celebrity gossip than is probably wise or healthy. To make up for all that screen time, she tries to grow things, hike occasionally, and wonder often at the night sky.
Some Sojourners articles by Julie Polter:
Replacing Songs with Silence
Censorship, banning, blacklists: What’s lost when governments stifle musical expression?
It’s the Sprawl, Y’all
Why suburbs-on-steroids are wearing out their welcome.
A glimpse of grace and abundance from - of all things - reality TV.
The Cold Reaches of Heaven
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Bill Phillips talks about his faith.
Just Stop It
Daring to believe in a life without logos. An interview with journalist Naomi Klein.
Women and Children First
Developing a common agenda to make abortion rare.
Obliged to See God (on Flannery O’Connor)
Posts By This Author
Ending Welfare As We Know It
A welfare mother is a black woman, with several children, who spends her entire life on welfare, having another kid whenever she needs more moneyat least according to prevalent stereotypes
Distracted by Beauty
God created and saw that it was good. But since then things have been more ambiguous.
On Holy Ground
Annie Get Your Gun
Aprototypical white suburban mom walking toward her minivan in a dimly lit parking garage glances fearfully over her shoulder at some real or perceived threat lurking off camera.
Howard Thurman, An American Original
Honoring the legacy of Howard Thurman
A Matter of Justice
The Constitution, not unlike the Bible, draws radically different schools of interpretation.
Playing With Fire
Sermon reflections for November
Attending to the Feast of God
Living the Word for September and October
Faith in Many Forms
Lectionary reflections for August
Sex, Thighs, and Women's Mags
What's glossy, colorful, and makes women hate their thighs?
Stories that Soak the Soul
Lectionary notes for July's readings
Dashikis and Overalls
Arrested Development stitches the sounds of city and country
Who Speaks for Family Values?
The symbiotic relationship between family and society
Who Watches the Children?
Washington's insights during the Year of the Woman
Recollect the Journey
Reflecting on where we've been, where we are, and where we will be this Advent
twentysomethings: A Lost Generation?
Blending Blues, Be-Bop, Folk, and Country
Lyle Lovett's broad appeal
A Gospel Message and More
Take 6's soulful spirit
From Debate to Dialogue
Churches struggle to address homosexuality and sexual ethics