Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Religion Archives

2 Ways I’m Like Mr. Bean When On Retreat at the Monastery

It’s been a while since my last “retreat” at the monastery. The last time I was here, I was on deadline to finish the manuscript for my first book Grace Sticks. So I holed myself up in one of these […]


“I Am Charlie Hebdo”

I struggle to know how to greet you after such a long hiatus from posting here—and in light of how much has happened in the world since Christmas, the most obvious development being last week’s horrifying events in Paris and […]


Humor Relief for Religious Extremism

Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these […]


The Rise of the “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Here at this intersection between God and life, I’m always interested in news pertaining to those who call themselves “spiritual but not religious”—hence this article from The New York Times featuring the work of three other authors who, like me, […]


Mental Health Break— “Happy,” Iranian Style

This week’s mental health break comes from Iran, where 6 young Iranians were arrested last month for dancing to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in a Youtube video that went viral.  The men and women appearing in the video said they wanted […]


“Belief Without Borders”—The Importance of Wandering

The older I get the more I’m convinced wandering is essential to rest.  A soul that has come to rest has known what it means to wander.  And, God forbid that our souls should ever only rest and never wander […]


Jon Krakauer on Wonder, Mystery and the Gift of Uncertainty

Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith was one of my traveling companions in Tuscany. Here Krakauer, who has developed a reputation for writing about the extremes of physical adventure (Into Thin Air, Into the […]


“Spiritual, Not Religious” No Recipe for Good Health?

If you’re “spiritual but not religious” be prepared for more affliction- or, at least this seems to be the take-home of a recent study by British researchers, according to a report by WORLD News Service summarized by Religion Today. Religion Professor Michael King […]


Zombie Batman and The Divided Self

My son’s request to be a “zombie batman” tonight qualifies as most creative Halloween aspiration thus far- not to mention a tough act to carry off.  Somehow the two identities seem galaxies apart.  I mean, an animated corpse in a Batman […]


Knowing My Audience: “Nones” On the Rise

As an aspiring author I’ve been getting better acquainted with my audience, and it’s an audience I find it easy to self-identify with (Christian ministerial credentials aside).  A poll recently released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life […]

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope you’re having a fun Fourth! I’m struck by how holidays like these, during which we celebrate some aspect of what it means to belong to a particular nation, can be much like religious rituals, insofar as they give a […]

Evangelicals on Sex: “High Bars” or “Hang-Ups”?

On most any afternoon a small ecumenical council of women convenes on the school playground: we include a converted Jew, backsliding Catholic, conservative evangelical, “spiritual but not religious” seeker and yours truly (who, if resorting to labels, would describe herself […]

“A Resurrected Christianity?”

In recent days, Diana Butler Bass and Andrew Sullivan (in a Newsweek cover story, “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus”) have both given expression to some angst about the death of the church.  Bass has gone on to hold out the […]

“I’d Like to Talk to You About Jesus”

Once again, in the spirit of G.K. Chesteron who said, “the test of a good religion is whether you can joke about it,” here is some fodder for a good laugh (or being offended).  My apologies if you’re in the […]

Food for Thought: Did Jesus Come to Abolish Religion?

The below video, titled “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus,” has stirred controversy on Youtube by implying that Jesus is opposed to religion.  Which begs a question: did Jesus come (at least in part) to abolish religion?  If you’re […]

“A Very Brief History of Eternity”

I recently finished a wonderful, little book by Yale historian Carlos Eire. The book lives up to its name: it manages to cover in relative brevity the breathtaking expanse of “eternity” from its very first beginnings in antiquity to its […]

Does It Get Any More Kitsch Than This?

I had wondered a few days back whether there can be anything more kitsch at Christmas time than those loud-colored, ceramic nativity scenes, one of which graces our coffee table and has become my two-year-old daughter’s play toy of choice […]

A Sabbath from Seriousness

The following religion-related typos on the final exam papers that my husband is currently grading made me chuckle.  Here they are for your edification, accompanied by our editorial remarks: “Jesus made the long walk to Calgary.”  (Did he cross the […]


“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” goes the African proverb.  I think of it every time I jog past this sign near my house.  Because if there were ever a place where many of us have felt like we […]

Unsure What You Believe?

When in doubt, use a flowchart…. (This handy diagram comes compliments of a friend who found it floating in the blogosphere.)

Previous Posts

Mental Health Break — "On Melancholy Hill" and What's Up Next Here
Single motherhood for the next nine months — with my hubby traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C., thanks to a National Endowment of Humanities (NEH) research fellowship there — may reduce my presence here at this intersection. But I'm ...

posted 3:34:48pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

A Monk, A Man Behind Bars for Murder, and Their Life-Changing Correspondence
[caption id="attachment_5740" align="alignleft" width="400"] The U.S. locks up more people every year than any other country, including China, with a population roughly five times greater than that of the U.S.. 5% of the world's population ...

posted 8:37:11pm Sep. 16, 2015 | read full post »

This Old House: A Poem
              The dramatic transformation that our old house continues to ...

posted 9:19:25pm Sep. 11, 2015 | read full post »

2 Ways I'm Like Mr. Bean When On Retreat at the Monastery
It’s been a while since my last “retreat” at the monastery. The last time I was here, I was on ...

posted 4:25:13pm Sep. 09, 2015 | read full post »

A 1:6 Women-to-Men Ratio on Ashley Madison — Why?
At the risk of beating a dead horse — can anyone help me understand where that awful expression comes from, by the way? — this piece takes a new angle on the whole Ashley Madison scandal. What does an eye-opening dearth of female users on ...

posted 2:37:06pm Sep. 07, 2015 | read full post »


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