Top 10 Writers Shaping our Movement

In Uncategorized by Anna Golladay

In a time in history that can best be described as tumultuous, unpredictable and sometimes plain weird, our progressive writers are showing up. New writers are publishing some of the most profound and insightful works right now. Even more exciting, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people feeling the need to create. Some of us have never entered the writing space before but feel compelled to embrace this art as a gift of expressing wisdom to a world in need of it. 

Here is our list of writers and authors that you should follow for learning and inspiration. And we want you to consider that you might be called into this act of creation as well. 

  1. Brian McLaren, a leading voice in contemporary religion, argues that— notwithstanding the dire headlines about the demise of faith and drop in church attendance—Christian faith is not dying. Rather, it is embarking on a once-in-an-era spiritual shift. For millions, the journey has already begun. His latest book: The Great Spiritual Migration
  2. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. An author, preacher, and professor, he is the chief architect of the “Forward Together Moral Movement.” His latest book: The Third Reconstruction – How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear
  3. Dr. Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. In her latest book, Grateful, she explores the gap between our desire to be grateful and our ability to behave gratefully. The implications of the gap are bigger than we realize, affecting both our personal and public lives. 
  4. Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and of the Throne, a commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel and co-editor of The Peoples’ Bibleand The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. She is an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and licensed in the Diocese of Fort Worth, and a former Army Chaplain. Her latest book: Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne
  5. Sister Simone Campbell and a group of fellow Roman Catholic nuns toured parts of the country to rally support against Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget, a plan that cut vital social programs for the hurting poor and the struggling middle class in the summer of 2012. Prayer groups turned into rallies, and small town meetings became national media events. Sister Simone became a galvanizing force for progressives of all stripes and remains a driving force for programs and policies that support faith, family, and fairness. Her latest book: A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community
  6. Rev. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Ph.D. is a Korean-American theologian and professor. She is best known for books and articles on the social and religious experiences of Korean women immigrants to North America. She is currently an Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion. Her latest book: Healing Our Broken Humanity
  7. Rev. Dr. Rachael A. Keefe is the author of The Lifesaving Church. In this book, she shares her own painful story of life-long depression and suicidality to help churches recognize and respond to those suffering. Each chapter includes actions to become a lifesaving community. Her latest book: The Lifesaving Church
  8. Rev. Bruce Reyes Chow is a pastor, author, consultant, and coach. A 3rd Generation Chinese/Filipino, armchair sociologist, and technology enthusiast Bruce speaks and teaches on faith, race, parenting, and technology in a variety of contexts from seminaries to conferences to congregations to pre-schools. While he speaks to both religious and secular audiences, he committed to living and expressing a Christian faith that is beautifully complex, unimaginably just and excruciatingly gracious. His book: But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race
  9. The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is the Susan D. Morgan Distinguished Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore and is the Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral. Kelly is considered a leader in the field of womanist theology, racial reconciliation and sexuality and the black church. Her latest book: Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God
  10. Rev. Carol Howard Merritt contends that many leave the church because they have lost trust in the institution, not in God. Healing Spiritual Wounds addresses the church’s dichotomous image—as a safe space and as a dangerous place—and provides a way to restore personal faith and connection to God for those who have been hurt or betrayed by established institutions of faith. Her latest book: Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church

And then there are these great writers!

  1. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of Manhattan. Middle Church is a dynamic 1000-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in which everyone is welcome just as they are as they come through the door. Lewis is also the Executive Director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society. Author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations and a children’s book that celebrates diversity, You Are So Wonderful!, Lewis has published numerous articles and sermons, and blogs for The Huffington Post. She is working on a spiritual memoir about getting a grown-up God.
  2. Rev. Dr. Jim Antal is a national leader on environmental issues and is an executive with the United Church of Christ, Massachusetts Conference. In his book, Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, Reverend Jim Antal presents a compelling case that it’s time for the church to meet this moral challenge, just as the church addressed previous moral challenges. He calls for the church to embrace a new vocation so that future generations mi
    ght live in harmony with God’s creation.
  3. The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath is a United Church of Christ minister currently serving as Pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire, and a writer and public theologian. Heath’s first book, Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity, was published by Pilgrim Press in the spring of 2016. Their most recent book is Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear.
  4. Ms. Lisa Sharon Harper is the founder and president of (launching online Fall 2017), a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap in our nation by convening forums and experiences that bring common understanding, common commitment, and common action toward a just world. Ms. Harper is the author of several books, including: Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat (The New Press, 2008), Left Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Elevate, 2011), Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014), and the critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong can be Made Right (Waterbrook, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016).
  5. Professor and pastor Carolyn Helsel draws on her successful experiences with white congregations to offer us tools and practices to explore the anxious feelings that can come up when talking about racism. Move through the anxiety and learn to join the hard conversations with less fear, more compassion, and more knowledge of self, others, and the important issues at stake. Her book is Anxious to Talk About It.

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