February 2014

Cover Story

Jesus' teaching about hell flipped popular imagery of the afterlife upside down—and offered a radical, transformative vision of God.


Why some of us love Jesus and don't like Paul.
Cynthia Bourgeault explains how we can both seek social justice and do justice to our souls.
An Israeli-American resister on the spiritual links between violence and nonviolence.
Where do our ideas about hell come from?


Just because racism is "tradition" doesn't make it right.
What does it take to reintegrate combatants into society?
"Stop and frisk" is unconstitutional race-based harassment—and it must end.


We give thanks for how he turned righteous anger into the power of reconciliation.
The president has sought to placate the rich, powerful fossil fuel industry.
We didn't eat for 22 days, but we did feast.
"When someone is faced with a gun and chooses to respond with respect and love, that's hope."
No animals were tested in the study. Just me.

Culture Watch

Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams / Social Music by Jon Batiste and Stay Human / What Do We Tell the Children: Talking to Kids About Death and Dying by Joseph M. Primo / The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy is Shaping the Church by Phyllis Tickle and John M. Sweeney
A hopeful encounter with real-life "God's Gardeners."
Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith. White Cloud Press
Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community by Leah Kostamo
At peak usage, Netflix alone now accounts for one-third of all internet traffic in the U.S.
The 10 best U.S. films of 2013.
Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace. Cascade Books


Thank you very much for Danny Duncan Collum’s article “Learning from the Unspeakable” (November 2013).
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A
Marty Troyer has touched something deep within me when he writes, “Racialization is something we need to cleanse ourselves of daily, like flossing our teeth” (“Subverting the Myth,” December 2013).
I smiled when reading the story about the Methodist minister, Teresa MacBain, who became an atheist (“Help Thou My Unbelief”).
With regard to the megacorps buying up all our water (“The Great American Water Crisis,” by Maude Barlow and Wenonah Hauter, November 2013): We are witnessing what a 14th-century preachers’ manual, Fasciculus Morum
If my belief were a hickory nut / I'd keep it safe in my pocket
I liked Ryan Ahlgrim’s “Help Thou My Unbelief” (November 2013), as he acknowledges what many of us experience: struggling with doubt and definition as we profess to “have” faith.

Web Extra

Indigenous American leaders speak out against the Washington NFL team’s mascot.
These magazine articles and blog posts published by Sojourners through the years pay tribute to the great South African leader.
Yousef Bashir's remarkable story of reconciliation.
People go to great lengths for those they love, especially when it comes to immigration reform.