CJR Gives Sojourners Kudos

soj0904There’s a nice mention in the Columbia Journalism Review‘s blog written by Katia Bachko about Sojourners magazine’s April 2009 issue.

Like most great journalism efforts Sojourners editorial staff is a mixture of editors and writers with academic journalism degrees and others with 35 years of experience “just doing the work.” It’s nice when the arbiters of journalistic integrity at least know you exist!

Here’s a clip from CJR’s comment:

Sojourners is a Christian magazine, and, according to its cover, it’s interested in “faith, politics, and culture.” In tone and subject matter, Sojourners often feels like the magazine embodiment of NPR’s Speaking of Faith, only slightly more preachy, and more narrowly Christian.

The magazine is strongest when covering social justice issues, illuminating topics frequently neglected by mainstream outlets.

Read the whole piece here.

Doria Russell: Novelist as “God”

doriarussellforwebTwo decades ago, Mary Doria Russell, a paleoanthropologist turned novelist, was decoding the stories in ancient bones. Then she wrote two beautiful, theologically evocative books of science fiction, The Sparrow and Children of God. (You can read the preface to The Sparrow here.

I love these books and have read them over and over. Also, I interviewed Doria Russell for Sojourners last year. She’s very funny and is currently working on a novel about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.

The premise of The Sparrow and Children of God is that life is discovered on another planet by way of transmissions of hauntingly beautiful music. And Jesuits explorers and scientists make first contact, just as Jesuit priests were often in the vanguard of Europe’s age of discovery. Mary Doria Russell grappled with large moral and religious questions on and off the page—as she imagined the conversations and relationships between these Jesuits, the other scientists who travel with them, and the species they encounter.

Mary Doria Russell will be interviewed in a Speaking of Faith radio segment titled “The Novelist as God.” Listeners will discover what she discerned—in the act of creating a new universe—about God and about dilemmas of evil, doubt, and free will. The ultimate moral of any life and any event, Doria Russell believes, only shows itself across generations. And so the novelist, like God, she says, paints with the brush of time.

“The Novelist as God” will air on public radio stations nationwide from Thursday, January 29 through Wednesday, February 4. You’ll also be able to hear and download the program online at www.speakingoffaith.org, where you’ll find broadcast locations and times.