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Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Interviews Archives

Uncovering Joseph Smith’s Journals: A Conversation with Two LDS Church Historians

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of weeks ago when I was in Salt Lake City I had the privilege of sitting down with two historians who work with the Joseph Smith Papers project, an ambitious documentary history effort that’s seeing another volume in […]

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Publish Your Book on Amazon: A Q&A with Tony Jones (Part 2)

posted by Jana Riess

  Yesterday we talked with Tony Jones about the content of his new book, The Church Is Flat. Today we’re doing a behind-the-scenes look at why he decided to self-publish for the first time, and what he learned from the […]

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The Church Is Flat: A Q & A with Tony Jones (Part 1)

posted by Jana Riess

When I think about my favorite folks in the emerging church conversation, one of them is certainly Tony Jones, one of the movement’s founders. It was Tony’s book The New Christians that first introduced me to the idea of church […]

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New Podcast: NT Scholar NT Wright on Revelation

posted by Jana Riess

So it turns out that N.T. Wright gets almost as irritated as I do when people say “Revelations” and not “Revelation” to refer to the final book of the New Testament. I’m always delighted to be joined in my pedantry, […]

Buffy & Religion: Fun with Podcasts!

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve recently had the privilege of being interviewed for John Morehead’s TheoFantastique podcast, which explores the intersection of sci fi/fantasy and religion. We had a great conversation over Skype about Buffy, Buddhism, postmodern cafeteria religion, and the commodification of the […]

Gush, Gush . . . I Got to Interview Barbara Brown Taylor!

posted by Jana Riess

This month’s WJK Radio podcast has been posted, and I am all aflutter. Barbara Brown Taylor is one of my favorite spirituality writers, so it was a great honor to get to talk to her. You’ll be impressed with how […]

Social Media “Friending” as a Spiritual Practice? A Q&A with Lynne Baab

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been a fan of Lynne Baab‘s writing since I read her book on fasting a few years ago. I draw from it in the fasting chapter of Flunking Sainthood and highly recommend it. Now, I also have the pleasure […]

Half the Sky, Half the Church: Carolyn Custis James on Christian Women

posted by Jana Riess

If, like me, you were fascinated by Half the Sky, Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof’s gripping account of women’s oppression and liberation around the world, you may be interested in Half the Church, Carolyn Custis James’s new book on a […]

Chatting with Brian McLaren, Part 2

posted by Jana Riess

Brian McLaren talks about the 12 spiritual practices that can change your life, the future of Protestant denominations, and how he brings his books to life.   Today we continue the Q&A we started yesterday with Brian McLaren, one of […]

Chatting with Brian McLaren, Part 1

posted by Jana Riess

Brian McLaren talks about Rob Bell’s critics, his own controversial writings, and what it’s like to be in the evangelical hot seat. Also on tap: his brand-new book Naked Spirituality. One of the greatest aspects of blogging is that I […]

Radio interview on Mormonism & Popular Culture

posted by Jana Riess

With two major events last week dealing with Mormonism and popular culture (the opening of the Book of Mormon musical on Broadway and the finale of the HBO series Big Love), I’ve been asked a lot of questions lately on […]

“Book of Mormon Musical” Co-Creator Bobby Lopez on Why He’s Fascinated by Mormons

posted by Jana Riess

As I’ve already shared here, I loved the new “Book of Mormon” musical on Broadway, which officially opens tonight on Broadway. As I was discussing it last week with my amazing college roommate, she dropped the bombshell that she’s friends […]

Thoughts on Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

I recently did a Q&A interview with fellow blogger Matt Litton, author of Mockingbird Parables, about my life as a religion writer. The interview was part of the “Five Good Answers” tradition he has on his blog every Friday, where […]

If You Agree with Rob Bell, Check Out Greg Garrett’s New Book

posted by Jana Riess

If, like me, you’ve been following the brouhaha over Rob Bell’s alleged universalism in the last week — and if, like me, you wonder why it is such a big deal that a pastor might choose to emphasize a theology […]

What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?

posted by Jana Riess

Recently on WJK Radio, I had the pleasure of co-interviewing Martin Thielen, author of the new book What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? The book is taking off as a group study guide for churches. […]

Religion and Bob Dylan

posted by Jana Riess

The Gospel According to Bob Dylan? Well, why not? Author Michael J. Gilmour sits down to explain why “Bobheads” continue to find spiritual meaning in Bob Dylan’s music almost 50 years after Dylan’s debut album was released. –JKR So, why […]

Click Here to Help Haiti!: A Q&A with Haiti Partners Co-Director Kent Annan

posted by Jana Riess

You may have heard Kent Annan in the news recently, whether blogging for CNN about the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake or describing the social perils of “poverty tourism” in the Huffington Post. As the co-director of Haiti Partners, […]

Christian Faith Reignited . . . At a Mosque? Leanna Tankersley’s Story

posted by Jana Riess

I’m always looking for interfaith stories, and this one is beautiful. Healing words like Leanna’s are especially needed nowadays, when many of her fellow evangelical Christians are deeply suspicious of Islam. –JKR “A Borrowed Abaya and a Middle Eastern Mosque” […]

Attention Publicists, Authors, and Bloggers: Opportunities to Guest Post

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, as many of you know, I am going to be teaching part-time during the spring semester at Miami University of Ohio. I’m excited about this opportunity, but since this is in addition to my regular job as an acquisitions […]

Ira Craddock, Victorian Sex Therapist and Spiritual Seeker: A Q&A with Biographer Leigh Schmidt

posted by Jana Riess

When I was a graduate student in American religious history, I had the privilege of taking a couple of classes with Leigh Schmidt at Princeton University. Now at Harvard Divinity School, Leigh has continued his stellar career with several more […]

From Holy Day to Holiday: A Q&A with Donald Heinz about Christmas

posted by Jana Riess

In his new book Christmas: Festival of Incarnation, Donald Heinz argues that for all its commercialism, Christmas is still best understood as Christianity’s key holy day. I’m so pleased to welcome him here for a Q&A. You can also watch […]

WJK Radio Podcast: The Pain of Miscarriage

posted by Jana Riess

I know I have blogged–okay, bragged–about Elise Erikson Barrett’s book before, but I wanted to provide a link to the most recent WJK Radio podcast in which she is interviewed about her new book, What Was Lost: A Christian Journey […]

The (HIV) Positive Pastor: A Q&A with Memoirist Shane Stanford

posted by Jana Riess

AIDS isn’t much on people’s radars anymore, at least not in the United States. Combination-therapy drugs have made what was once a death sentence–an HIV positive diagnosis–into a manageable, if debilitating, condition. But what’s it like to live with the […]

Philip Yancey on Publishing, Speaking, and the “Psychosis” of the First Draft (Part Two)

posted by Jana Riess

In October Flunking Sainthood ran the first part of our two-part interview with Christian writer Philip Yancey, whose new book What Good is God? was published yesterday. This week we follow up with some discussion of his writing career in […]

What Good Is God, Anyway? A Q&A with Philip Yancey (Part One)

posted by Jana Riess

Last week I was privileged to have a long phone conversation with one of my favorite contemporary writers, Philip Yancey. Interviewing authors each Wednesday is easily my favorite part of blogging, and this opportunity was a real highlight. Philip Yancey’s […]

Harry Potter, Christian Hallows, and C.S. Lewis: A Q&A with Greg Garrett

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again in preparation for the movie next month–which releases in 45 days, but who’s counting? In listening I have come once more to realize why it is one of my […]

Wiping Out Hunger in Our Generation: A Q&A with Bread for the World’s David Beckmann

posted by Jana Riess

Do you feel as overwhelmed as I do by statistics on world hunger? When I read about more than a billion people in dire poverty, it’s hard to muster any optimism that things will change. Children are starving. People are […]

Secrets, Lies, & Porn in the Church: A Q&A with “Permission to Speak Freely” Author Anne Jackson

posted by Jana Riess

Christian women might be addicted to porn? Pastors can be sexual predators? Evangelical teens are cutting themselves? Such are the revelations in Anne Jackson’s newest book, Permission to Speak Freely: Essays and Art on Fear, Confession, and Grace. It’s a […]

From Self-Publishing to Random House: “Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid” Finds a Following

posted by Jana Riess

Last month, Random House’s Three Rivers imprint released Shut Up about Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Kids by Patricia (Patty) Konjoian, whose daughter has bipolar disorder, and her sister Gina Gallagher, whose daughter has […]

Who Was Julian of Norwich? A Q&A with Author Amy Frykholm

posted by Jana Riess

The only thing I knew about Julian of Norwich before reading Amy Frykholm’s excellent new “contemplative biography” of her was that she was the saint who said “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of […]

Is the Bible Pro-Immigrant?: A Q&A with Ben Daniel about “Neighbor”

posted by Jana Riess

This month, Westminster John Knox is pleased to publish the new book Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration. Author Ben Daniel sits down with Flunking Sainthood to discuss his book, the role of immigration in the Bible, and the new […]

Bonhoeffer for Today: A Q&A with Biographer Eric Metaxas

posted by Jana Riess

Flunking Sainthood is delighted to talk today with author Eric Metaxas, whose study of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sets a new standard for popular biography. It’s well-written! It’s fascinating! And it’s large enough to insulate your home! Eric, when Thomas Nelson […]

Indomitable Iconoclast: Q&A with Stanley Hauerwas

posted by Jana Riess

A personal memoir from a theologian? Now, that’s not something you see very often. And not just any theologian. This is Stanley Hauerwas, a man that Time magazine lauded as “the best theologian in America.” I’ve got no argument with […]

Donna Freitas Dishes on Sex, Catholic Clergy Scandals, and Her Beautiful New Novel “This Gorgeous Game”

posted by Jana Riess

Donna Freitas (FRAY-tus) has carved out a career as a religion scholar focusing on young adults’ spirituality and sexuality (Sex and the Soul, Oxford). But in her other life, she’s also a YA novelist whose first book, The Possibilities of […]

New Monasticism & The Emergent Church: FS Talks with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

posted by Jana Riess

What would it be like to really know your neighbors, and vow never to leave them? To commit to living in your same house, in your same neighborhood, for the rest of your life? That’s what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of […]

Welcome to Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

Welcome! If you’re here, I’m assuming it’s because you enjoy discovering the lighter side in the world of religion, or because you’re interested in reviews of new books and TV shows, or because my mother told you to come and […]

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting -- and humbling -- to see the many different kinds of people who are reading and talking

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being in the news every single day and all, Randy Balmer and I

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, but the place where I am going doesn't have email access

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren't any fun moments in the Book of

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »

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