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?

It’s the Sprawl, Y’all
Why suburbs-on-steroids are wearing out their welcome. 

Extreme Community
A glimpse of grace and abundance from - of all things - reality TV.

The Politics of Fear

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)

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Posts By This Author

New & Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 04-01-2012

Worship Across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation, by Gerardo Marti; The Forgotten Bomb; Let It Burn; Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis.

New & Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 03-01-2012

Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America; The Amish; Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit; The Ethical Vision of Clint Eastwood. 

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 02-01-2012

Widow, Queen, Lover, Warrior; Faith in the Struggle; The Message; ‘Do Not Cast Me Away.’

Passages and Pilgrimages

by Julie Polter 02-01-2012

Why sometimes life can seem like one big road trip.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 01-01-2012

Free South Africa, To Love More Deeply, When Disaster Strikes, Wrestling with Tradition.

'Say, Say the Light'

by Julie Polter 12-01-2011

Advent loops past the second coming to the first -- and to us, stuck waiting in the mud of existence.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 12-01-2011

Joking for Jesus, The Courage to Love, Body Meets Soul, Rethinking War.

Action Heroes

by Julie Polter 11-01-2011

When spurred on by God and conscience, there's no telling what trouble you might get into.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 09-01-2011

Life Stories

Alison Owings interviewed members of 16 tribal nations for the oral history Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans, capturing intimate, engaging perspectives from long-overlooked communities. An inspiring antidote to the ignorance many non-Indigenous people may unwittingly hold about contemporary Native American lives. Rutgers University Press

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 08-01-2011

Love Provokes

Three Books On...

by Julie Polter 06-13-2011

... Voices from Africa

Holding On to Hope

by Julie Polter 06-13-2011

Six books on the ongoing search for peace and justice in the Middle East and beyond.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 06-03-2011

Julie Polter reviews current books and films.

5 Green Reads For Your Summer Reading List

by Julie Polter 04-25-2011

While Earth Day and Good Friday being on the same date this year was a relatively rare alignment, thankfully for many people the everyday companionship of religious belief and care for creation i

Sing Without Ceasing

by Julie Polter 03-01-2011

For nearly six decades, Mavis Staples has been bringing the gospel truth to song.

Almost Heaven

by Julie Polter 03-01-2011

For nearly six decades, Mavis Staples has been bringing the gospel truth to song.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 03-01-2011

Reviews of The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman, Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made, Somebody's Daughter, and This Sacred Moment.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 02-01-2011

The Spirit Moves

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 01-01-2011
Four January 2011 culture recommendations from our editors
Nonviolent Power

Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC gathers powerful oral histories from 52 women, "northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina" who were on the front lines of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. University of Illinois Press

Tell Me, Tell Me

In a Winnipeg, Manitoba, high school where 58 languages were spoken among the student body, a teacher started an after-school storytelling project to bridge the gaps between immigrant and Canadian students. The documentary The Storytelling Class tells of the students' experience. Bullfrog Films

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 12-01-2010

Georgia Peace