Jim Wallis

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Jim Wallis at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2009.

The Reverend Jim Wallis (b. June 4, 1948, Detroit, Michigan) is an evangelical Christian writer and political activist, best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners Magazine and of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.

Wallis actively eschews political labels, but his advocacy tends to focus on issues of peace and social justice, earning him his primary support from the religious left. Wallis is also known for his opposition to the religious right's fiscal and foreign policies.[1]

Early life

Raised in a traditional evangelical Plymouth Brethren family,[2] as a young man Wallis became active in the civil rights movement. He graduated from Michigan State University, where he was President of Students for a Democratic Society and then went on to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois where he joined with other young seminarians in establishing the community that eventually became Sojourners.

Later life

Wallis' writings are regularly published as op-eds in major media outlets, and he teaches a course in religion and politics at Harvard University. He is also the convener of Call to Renewal, an interfaith effort to end poverty. He has written a wide variety of books including The Great Awakening. Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America (2008), God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (2005), Faith Works: How Faith Based Organizations Are Changing Lives, Neighborhoods, and America (2000), The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left" (1995) and Call to Conversion (1981, revised 2005).

In discussing the 2004 American presidential elections, Wallis said "Jesus didn’t speak at all about homosexuality. There are about 12 verses in the Bible that touch on that question ... [t]here are thousands of verses on poverty. I don’t hear a lot of that conversation."[3]

In 2005, Wallis was arrested during a rally primarily against governmental misteps. [4]

Wallis was invited by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to give the Democrats' weekly radio address on Saturday, December 2, 2006. He spoke about the importance of moral leadership in Washington, and touched on a variety of social concerns.[5] In February 2007 he wrote in Time about the post-Religious Right era and the resurgence of mainstream Christianity, with evangelicals "deserting the Religious Right in droves".[6]

He appeared on The Daily Show discussing faith and politics.[7]


For his work in advocating for peace and social justice in urban America and for his role as founder of Sojourners Magazine and the Call to Renewal, he was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience award in Sherborn, Massachusetts, on June 2, 2000.[8]

Personal life

Wallis is married to the Rev. Joy Carroll, upon whom the title character in The Vicar of Dibley was partially based[citation needed].

See also




External links


Faith (for Content):