New York Times-bestselling author Jim Wallis will bring his message on politics, religion and justice to the Belmont University campus on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Belmont Heights Baptist Church sanctuary and will include a short in-the-round style concert by acclaimed and Grammy-winning Nashville singer songwriters Ashley Cleveland and Marcus Hummon, as well as a book signing by Wallis at the conclusion of the event.
Wallis follows up his New York Times bestseller God’s Politics with a call to action for people who want to address urgent problems that politics has failed to solve. His new book, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, released in January and heralds a new era for faith and politics.
Wallis said, “God’s Politics called on people to take back their faith after it had been ‘hijacked’ by the Religious Right. Millions of Christians have done just that, and now the question is what are we going to do with our faith, now that we have it back? My new book, The Great Awakening, addresses that new question.”
Dr. Todd Lake, the vice president of spiritual development at Belmont, explained that Wallis’ ideas and remarks couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. “We are in the midst of an election year in which all of these issues are dominating news coverage,” Lake said. “Jim’s book, and his talk at Belmont, will give us another forum to wrestle with how conversations of social issues and political quandaries directly relate to faith. This will be an evening to fully engage the mind and the spirit.”
In his new book, Wallis revisits spiritual revivals and movements throughout history that led to great social change, ultimately concluding the world is on the verge of the next Great Awakening. He then addresses seven moral issues that are and will be critical to such conversations: global and domestic poverty, the environment and climate change, pandemic diseases, human rights, health care, war and peace. Wallis explains that only a revival of faith can spark the necessary changes in public opinion and political will on those key agendas, and that spiritual transformation is necessary for social change.
Wallis last spoke in Nashville in 2006, when he twice sold out the Belcourt Theatre with his talk on God’s Politics.
Jim Wallis is a leading figure at the crossroads of politics and religion in America today. He is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling God’s Politics, and the founder of Sojourners, a global network of progressive Christians. He speaks 200 times a year across the country and around the world and lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two young sons, where he still finds time to be a Little League baseball coach. For more information, visit www.sojo.net/greatawakening.
In a music scene overpopulated by breathy girls, Cleveland is that rare thing – a woman who sings like a woman. A woman with grit and passion. Blending rock, blues, gospel and folk with her distinct open-tuned guitar playing, she has forged an unmistakable sound that has won her three Grammy Awards, three Dove Awards, a place on countless year-end Top Ten lists and a legion of devoted fans. Beyond her own career as a singer/songwriter, Cleveland is also one of Nashville’s most in-demand session vocalists, having performed on more than 300 albums, for artists including Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Jars of Clay, Don Henley, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, Rodney Crowell, Pam Tillis, Patty Smyth and Michael McDonald.
The writer behind big hits for Wynonna, Tim McGraw, Dixie Chicks, Bryan White and Alabama, Marcus Hummon has been making waves in Nashville for the past decade. In 2005, he received a Grammy Award for Best Country Song, as a co-writer for Rascal Flatts’ No. 1 single “Bless the Broken Road.” However, the artist/songwriter now has hit a creative stride that is turning out to be the most rewarding period of his career – one that also includes a book of poetry, three stage musicals, and even the lyrics for the PBS children’s cartoon series “Book of Virtues.”