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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Interview

David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
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    David Mitchell 9781400065677


Powell's Q&A

Jim Wallis

Describe your latest project.
The values of politics are my primary concern in God?s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn?t Get It. Of course, God is not partisan; God is not a Republican or a Democrat. When either party tries to politicize God, or co-opt religious communities for their political agendas, they make a terrible mistake. The best contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable nor loyally partisan. Both parties, and the nation, must let the prophetic voice of religion be heard. Faith must be free to challenge both right and left from a consistent moral ground, offering a new vision for faith and politics in America. To do that, it offers a new conversation of personal faith and political hope.

The book explores how people concerned about social change and hungry for spiritual values can actually combine those two quests. Too often politics and spirituality have been separated, polarized, and even put into competition with one another. We have been buffeted by private spiritualities that have no connection to public life and a secular politics showing disdain for religion or even spiritual concerns. That leaves spirituality without social consequences and politics with no soul. And political discourse that is disconnected from moral values quickly degenerates. We will ask how we might change our public life with the values that many of us hold most dear. This book is about how to connect a genuinely "prophetic" spirituality to the urgent need for social justice. It is the connection the world is waiting for.

Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good place to start.
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If someone were to write your biography, what would be the title and subtitle?
Moving Mountains: The Life and Faith of an Activist Preacher

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?
I bought Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? because he challenges conventional political wisdom.

What section of the newspaper do you read first?
The front section — for news, analysis, and opinion on what's happening in the country and in the world.

Offer a favorite sentence or paragraph from another writer.
"As a Christian, I am a prisoner of hope."
Desmond Tutu

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
A few weeks ago on my book tour, I walked out of the Memphis Marriott to look for a cab that could take me to a local studio for an interview with Judy Woodruff for Inside Politics on CNN. The bellhop who rushed over to assist me was a young African-American woman who couldn't have been more than twenty-three or twenty-four years old. When she saw the copy of God's Politics I was carrying, she exclaimed, "Oh, that's the book all my friends are talking about! Is it good?" Two older bellhops I had met earlier were also standing there and poked the young woman playfully in the ribs. "He wrote the book!" they told her. The men were from local black churches and had cornered me earlier in the day to ask what text I was preaching on for the Lenten series at the downtown Calvary Episcopal Church, and we had a discussion about Ephesians, chapter 6. The younger bellhop got even more excited. "Could you sign my book if I bought one and brought it in tomorrow?" she asked eagerly. I had to leave before she got in the next day, but I left a signed copy for her at the front desk.

Why do you write?
I write to move people so they can then move history.


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