Magazine article Newsweek

Road Trip: Are You There, God? It's Me, Tom Levinson

Magazine article Newsweek

Road Trip: Are You There, God? It's Me, Tom Levinson

Article excerpt

Byline: Elise Soukup

In the summer of 1999, Tom Levinson, a fourth-generation Jewish New Yorker and a recent Harvard Divinity School grad, packed up his 1994 Nissan Altima and hit the road to talk to people about God. Seventy cities, 105 days and 150 conversations later, he wrote the highlights in the recently released "All That's Holy: A Young Guy, an Old Car and the Search for God in America" (Jossey-Bass). Levinson talked religion--and cars--with NEWSWEEK's Elise Soukup.

How'd you get people to talk to you?

At the start I was inept at it. It required a lot of gumption to knock on a door or to just say, "Hi, my name is Tom and I'd like to talk about religion."

You were like a missionary.

Totally. When I went to talk with a steadfast evangelical Christian I realized we were up to similar things. His mission was to convert people to the Word. My mission was to convert people into words. …

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