Call for Articles – Elections, Democracy, and Church in the Public Square

statue-of-liberty-PDElection season is upon us once again. But this election promises to look unlike any other in U.S. history. As newspeople find their objectivity under great pressure, so all genuine non-profits may find it especially hard to be non-partisan. In this issue of Unbound, we will seek to help the Church address serious moral differences in our communities, both on rational and emotional levels.

John Calvin, in the final chapter of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, famously declares that the work of those in civil authority is “a calling, not only holy and lawful before God, but also the most sacred and by far the most honorable of all callings in the whole life of mortal [people]” (Book IV, Chapter XX). The Reformed tradition has never shied away from the public sphere, believing that God’s call to justice and righteousness extends into all aspects of life, the personal as well as the political. In the words of twentieth-century theologian H. Richard Niebuhr, Christians are called neither to withdraw from the world nor to conform to it, but rather to follow “Christ the Transformer of Culture” into social, economic, and political life.

So how are Christians called to respond to the upcoming elections and our current political climate? What does a faithful democracy look like? Is our political system even a democracy anymore? Can the broken pieces of U.S. political and economic systems be repaired, or do they call for a total system re-haul? What models of leadership are needed, and how can church bodies and church leaders help build accountability and vision?

How does our Christian faith “unmask idolatries,” and perhaps ideologies, so that we can see new possibilities in the movements, even revolutions, that are not on the ballot? Do we Reformed Christians have a responsibility in the pre-election debate to talk about hopes and practices of citizenship that may contribute to a healthier society? How is the meaning of the ‘vote’ being changed in the electoral version of ‘moneyball?’

As we approach November, what issues – new and perennial – are at stake? How are individual Christians and the church as a whole to respond to voter suppression and changes in campaign financing? How do our national budget and our current political rhetoric reflect our values as a nation? How do those values align with the values of the Christian tradition?

What role we as people of faith might play in (re)building a system that truly provides “liberty and justice for all”?

Unbound is currently seeking articles addressing the questions above and other topics related the upcoming elections. We welcome all submissions in the form of an abstract of no more than 200 words.

Send your article proposals to Managing Editor Rev. Ginna Bairby ( by Wednesday, August 31!


Process of Submission (& Statement on Diversity)
For all submissions, please email with the following information:

  • Name, e-mail, phone number, address, organizational and/or religious community association (if any) of the Contributor
  • The phrase “UNBOUND submission” in the subject line
  • Nature of the submission, i.e. Is it an article for the thematic journal or a poetry selection or something else?
  • Written assurance that you are the owner of all copyrights and other intellectual property rights to the material and that the material does not violate or infringe another’s rights, including, but not limited to, privacy, publicity or intellectual property, and that the material does not infringe any other copyrights, is not defamatory and is not a violation of law; and
  • An abstract of no more than 200 words describing the thesis and/or purpose of the submission. The abstract should be located in the body of the message. Attached abstracts with no abstract in the body will not be opened.

At this time, following the tradition of Church & Society, we do not offer compensation for the publication of submissions.

Criteria for Submission
(Click on a category for details.)
Photos and Art
Poetry and Creative Writing
Video and Audio

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