James M. Wall

James M Wall
James M. Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Jim launched this new personal blog April 24, 2008. He publishes articles regularly on his blog: Wallwritings

Journalism was Jim’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion.

He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person.

He and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, the grandparents of four grandchildren, and the great grandparents of one great granddaughter. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant.

He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972.

Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication.

Time concluded its essay with this summary of what the editor had planned for the future.

He sees the mainstream churches at least as often foolish as they are wise. He believes that the Century, and liberal Protestants generally, must shift from pious approval of their churches to a more realistic and vigorous appraisal. Concludes Wall: “What we have to say about the church and the world will be gutsy and robust.”

The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East.

He has made more than 20 trips to the Middle East as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, the first and second Intifadas, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region.

Wall Writings deals with all of these topics, and others, as they emerge, from within an understanding of the ambiguity of the human condition as perceived from a religious perspective.

Wall Writings was initially used by Jim in 1946 as the title of his column in the Georgia Tech Technique, when he served as sports editor of that publication.