This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: September/October 2015

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The Black Lives Matter movement is challenging the complacency of the church in speaking out against systemic racism and white supremacy. But as Ryan Herring writes in our cover story, "The church cannot be challenged without also challenging our theology." But whether the church will accept this challenge still remains to be seen.

Cover Story

a katz /
The Black Lives Matter movement offers a challenge to the church--and an opportunity.
Honoring our sisters before they become a hashtag 
The path toward creating a culture where 'black lives matter' begins with lament. 


Illustration by Jon Krause
Why are biases so difficult to identify, name, and change? It all starts in our unconscious minds. 
SV Production / Shutterstock
Can the church community truly become a safe space—for discussion, for reporting, for healing—for survivors of trauma? 
"...I forgive life for dealing me this hand/ I forgive my inner boy for not becoming a man..."
Thanks to the Free Minds Book Club, incarceration isn't the last word for young inmates in Washington, D.C.


Congo suffers from the paradox of mineral wealth and human poverty. 
A frivolous lawsuit brought before the Supreme Court jeopardized health care for millions.
Image: Landing of Columbus on the Islands of Guanahani, West Indies, 1847. John Vanderlyn (1775-1852)
After 500 years, the church should rescind the Doctrine of Discovery.

Culture Watch

The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu. W.W. Norton & Company.
Tuvia Ruebner is one of Israel's poets of witness. 
Excerpt: Pope Francis on Capitalism and Social Justice 
B.B. King didn't come home to Mississippi just to "give back" philanthropically. 
Four September/October culture recommendations from our editors.
Our deeper hunger is for stories that strive to tell the truth about life and its possibilities, that demand self-reflection, and that permit subtexts to breathe so we can fill in the gaps.


It's not about white hoods and burning crosses. 
This is the most remarkable religious document in a generation. 
It's also called the process of elimination, an apt phase. 
Many of those gathered were feeling a deep need for the care of their souls as they try to care for others. 


Reflections of the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B
I am moved by Julia Alvarez’s “‘Unless Somebody Steps in to Help ...’” (July 2015) on the treatment of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.
I interpreted Danielle Ayers and Lydia Bean’s “Reimagining the Bible Belt” (July 2015) as a reminder to myself and other progressives that we need to stop distancing ourselves from our Southern identity.
The “accommodation” discussed in “Reimagining the Bible Belt” is new to me and explains a lot about Texas.
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B
Lay me down, oh lay me down bankside—scratched by the blue wildrye, I hear the freshet-rush