Editor, Sojourners magazine

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?

Extreme Community
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.

Called to Stand with Workers

Women and Children First
Developing a common agenda to make abortion rare.

Obliged to See God (on Flannery O’Connor)

Posts By This Author

Women and Children First

by Julie Polter 05-01-1995

Developing a common agenda to make abortion rare.

The Enola Gay: History's Fallout

by Julie Polter 03-01-1995

When is a fuselage not just a fuselage? To many World War II veterans, the Enola Gay-the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima-is an icon of their deliverance.

Obliged to See God

by Julie Polter 12-01-1994

All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful. -Flannery O'Connor

Dancing Toward Peace in Northern Ireland

by Julie Polter, by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-1994

A tense, cautious hope for a peaceful future in Northern Ireland emerged with the cease-fire called on August 31 by the Irish Republican Army...

When Body Meets Soul

by Julie Polter 09-01-1994

Feminist theology seeks unity in diversity

Grateful for the Hands that Labor

by Julie Polter 09-01-1994
Labor Day is usually remembered more for the fun things you do on a day off than for the workers it honors.
Mexican migrant workers picking up strawberries in strawberry field, Salinas, California, USA

Workers picking up strawberries in strawberry field, Salinas, Calif. Photo: Juan SiLVA / Alamy

Labor Day: Justice. Workers. Solidarity. Sweat of the brow. Sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.

Or...Picnics. Beaches. Hot dogs. TV telethons.

This is the common dilemma of Labor Day. This day of rest, set aside to honor labor, is usually remembered more for the fun things you do on a day off than for the workers it honors. This is certainly not unique—look at Memorial Day or Christmas and how easy it is to be so busy enjoying them that we forget what they're supposed to be about.

Ending Welfare As We Know It

by Julie Polter 07-01-1994

A welfare mother is a black woman, with several children, who spends her entire life on welfare, having another kid whenever she needs more money—at least according to prevalent stereotypes

Distracted by Beauty

by Julie Polter 06-01-1994

God created and saw that it was good. But since then things have been more ambiguous.

On Holy Ground

by Julie Polter 05-01-1994
The practical theology of home.

Annie Get Your Gun

by Julie Polter 02-01-1994

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

by Julie Polter 12-01-1993

Honoring the legacy of Howard Thurman 

A Matter of Justice

by Julie Polter 11-01-1993

The Constitution, not unlike the Bible, draws radically different schools of interpretation.

Playing With Fire

by Julie Polter 11-01-1993

Sermon reflections for November

Attending to the Feast of God

by Julie Polter 09-01-1993

Living the Word for September and October

Faith in Many Forms

by Julie Polter 08-01-1993

Lectionary reflections for August

Sex, Thighs, and Women's Mags

by Julie Polter 08-01-1993

What's glossy, colorful, and makes women hate their thighs?

Stories that Soak the Soul

by Julie Polter 07-01-1993

Lectionary notes for July's readings

Dashikis and Overalls

by Julie Polter 07-01-1993

Arrested Development stitches the sounds of city and country

Who Speaks for Family Values?

by Julie Polter 06-01-1993

The symbiotic relationship between family and society

Who Watches the Children?

by Julie Polter 05-01-1993

Washington's insights during the Year of the Woman