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Longtime Whitworth communications professor publishes book on Christianity and censorship

May 28, 2015
Gordon Jackson, who retired in May after 32 years as a communications professor at Whitworth University, recently published a new book, Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good: Getting Beyond the Censorship Impulse (Rowman & Littlefield). In it, Jackson argues that in Western democracies, Christians of all theological and political backgrounds should be ardent advocates of advancing, not curbing, freedom of speech.

“This book was inspired by my own background growing up in South Africa, with its strict censorship policies,” Jackson says. “Upon coming to the U.S., and being impressed with the extraordinary level of free expression in this country, I realized that the blessing of free speech was sometimes abused.”

With the focus of examining free expression through a Christian lens, Jackson’s book brings together intellectual inquiry and faith, which is an integration that Whitworth encourages.

“This book tries to give Christians some ideas on how to address these issues and how to cope with the deep disagreements they have within their own ranks, and especially between churches and the wider society,” Jackson says.

Jackson holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University, an M.A. from Wheaton College, and a B.A. from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of numerous books, chapters and articles, with a special emphasis on quotation collections, including Jesus Does Stand Up, and Other Satires: Parables, Pictures and Parodies for Todays Church (Wipf and Stock, 2010); The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful And Other Quotes for the Thoughtful Traveler (2009); and Watchdogs, Blogs and Wild Hogs: A Collection of Quotations on Media (2006).

He has served as an ombudsman and a consultant for The Spokesman-Review, and is a frequent speaker on the media and related issues.  He has consulted on communications issues with Christian organizations in Egypt, Lebanon and Uganda. In April, Whitworth hosted the inaugural Gordon S. Jackson Conference in Media Law and Ethics, named in his honor.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or