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The Rev. Madison Shockley


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The Rev. Madison Shockley

The Rev. Madison Shockley is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ (UCC) in Carlsbad, Calif.  Originally ordained in the African...


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Stories by The Rev. Madison Shockley


One Giant Leap for America

Barack Obama represents not just a bridge between America’s various cultural, racial and spiritual communities.  According to Madison Shockley, the eminently qualified Sen. Obama holds out the promise of a much-needed healing for America by “just standing there allowing us to say ‘Yes’ to him.”

Posted on Jan 14, 2008 READ MORE



Romney’s Religious Dodge

In the first of a new Truthdig series on religion and politics, the Rev. Madison Shockley analyzes Mitt Romney’s recent landmark speech and finds that America’s most famous Mormon is trying to have it both ways.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP / Seth Wenig

Barack’s Racial Balancing Act

Sen. Obama’s multiracial heritage could help mend the great fissure in American society.

Posted on Jan 22, 2007 READ MORE


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Rev. Madison Shockley: Christian Coalition in the Fray

The religious advocacy group is inserting itself into the fight over the San Diego congressional seat of disgraced ex-Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

Posted on May 2, 2006 READ MORE


You Mean Jesus Didn’t Have a Bodily Resurrection?

Interested in a real Paschal Mystery this Easter? How ‘bout this? Why does the Catholic Church insist that Jesus had a bodily resurrection, when Paul clearly says in Corinthians 15:44: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

Posted on Apr 13, 2006 READ MORE

Truthdig Podcast

Jesus: The Man, The Myth

The religious right demands that we focus on Jesus this holiday season. Okay, but what do we really know about him? We turn to a religious scholar to find out. The Rev. Madison Shockley is a minister of the United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, Calif. and a regular commentator on religion, race, politics and popular culture.

Posted on Jan 23, 2006 READ MORE

Digs : Jesus

Jesus of the People

Jesus: The Man, the Myth

Every year around this time, we’re told to think about Jesus, if only for a minute, while we wait in line at the mall, but how much do we really know about the man? Truthdig turned to a religious scholar to find out.

Posted on Dec 20, 2005 READ MORE

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The Rev. Madison Shockley
The Rev. Madison Shockley
Zuade Kaufman / Truthdig

The Rev. Madison Shockley is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ (UCC) in Carlsbad, Calif.  Originally ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1979, he has served churches in St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Los Angeles. Shockley, who was raised in Mid-city Los Angeles, was active in Los Angeles politics before being called to Pilgrim Church in 2004.

Shockley writes commentary on a wide variety of subjects including race, religion, politics, education, reproductive choice and popular culture. His commentaries have been published in papers across the country, primarily in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle before becoming an original contributor to Truthdig.

He serves on the Executive Council of The Center for Progressive Christianity and is a member of the African American Ministers in Action of People for the American Way. Shockley is also on the board of the Interfaith Community Services of San Diego and the board of directors of

He pursued higher education at Harvard College, University of Missouri, Union Theological Seminary and Claremont Graduate School. He holds a BA in Political Science and a Master of Divinity degree. He and his wife Gayle have four adult children, and reside in Carlsbad, Calif.


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