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Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood Archives

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4

posted by Jana Riess

“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 […]

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Fun with the Book of Lamentations

posted by Jana Riess

Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren’t any fun moments in the Book of Lamentations, which is why I had to make my own with the Twible. As you’ve probably guessed, Lamentations is a bit of […]

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Washington Post on Faith: Is Romney Mormonism’s JFK?

posted by Jana Riess

I have an article today in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, tackling the question of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism and how it fits into American political history. Now that the Republicans seem to be holding their noses and voting for […]

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Why Do We Do Spiritual Practices?

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been editing a superb book recently by Lynne Baab on spiritual practices. (Called Joy Together, it’ll be out in the fall.) After exploring what congregations and churches can do to grow with God together by trying contemplative prayer, Sabbath-keeping, […]

Authors Behaving Badly

posted by Jana Riess

I caught an interesting episode of the Diane Rehm show today featuring Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did,a new book releasing today about social networks and the rapid erosion of privacy. […]

“Flunking Sainthood” on NPR This Morning

posted by Jana Riess

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be interviewed live today on Michel Martin’s NPR show “Tell Me More” at 11:20 a.m. This is all thanks to Kelly Hughes, the best book publicist ever. (She even flies around in […]

A More Spiritual 2012: Failing Forward with God

posted by Jana Riess

Happy New Year, friends. This year on my blog (which, BTW, is moving locations! More on that soon), I’ll be talking at least once a week about spiritual practices and how/whether to implement them. Why do we pray, give to […]

What the Christian Century’s Top Stories of the Year Say about Protestant Anxiety

posted by Jana Riess

I just found out that my autumn Christian Century story on “The Mormon Moment” was the magazine’s second-most popular article of 2011. But this isn’t because the article was particularly well-written or insightful; it wasn’t. I tried to do too […]

The Yucky Underside of the Nativity: Or, What You Won’t See in Next Year’s Christmas Pageant

posted by Jana Riess

A friend of mine recently pointed out that tomorrow is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I. In a nutshell, it marks that icky, violent part of the nativity story that every Christmas […]

Busy Women, Advent Conspiracies, and the Countdown to Christmas

posted by Jana Riess

I love this post from Ellen Painter Dollar over at the Introverted Church blog. She hits upon something fundamental about the irony of December: the Advent season encourages us to slow down and embrace silent reflection even as the wider […]

Bonhoeffer, Week 3: “Your Redemption Is Drawing Near” in Advent

posted by Jana Riess

In Week 3 of Advent, our Wednesday devotion from Bonhoeffer brings ever closer the question of redemption: what does it mean for us? Clearly, we’re looking for “something different from the anxious, petty, depressed, feeble Christian spirit that we see […]

CFP for New Book on Joss Whedon and Theology!

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, over at Theofantastique is a CFP for a proposed volume on Joss Whedon & theology: CALL FOR PAPERS Joss Whedon and Theology The works of Joss Whedon — from his hit television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and […]

How American is “All-American Muslim”?: Not Enough

posted by Jana Riess

The news is filled today with reports that Lowe’s and other major corporations have pulled advertising from the new TLC series All-American Muslim, caving to the demands of the right-wing Florida Family Association. The FFA says it is concerned that […]

Bonhoeffer, Week 2: The “Wonder of All Wonders” in Advent

posted by Jana Riess

This is our second week of Advent Wednesday devotions from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas.  Today’s theme is how God makes himself meek and lowly in order to be with us. Why can’t […]

“Still Alice” and the Specter of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

posted by Jana Riess

This month my book club read Still Alice, neuroscientist Lisa Genova’s haunting novel about a Harvard cognitive science professor who discovers, at age 50 and the height of her career, that she is succumbing to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. My take […]

Flunking Deadlines, Setting Limits

posted by Jana Riess

Someone told me recently, “I don’t know how you do it all.” I’ve heard this before and it’s nice that I fooled that person, but here is the truth: I am going a bit barmy with overcommitment. This weekend I […]

Cincinnati Booksigning Tomorrow

posted by Jana Riess

Just a quick post at the end of an incredibly busy day. Whew! I will be signing copies of Flunking Sainthood tomorrow afternoon from 2:00 to 3:30 at the Bookshelf shop on Camargo Road. It’s in the Madeira neighborhood of […]

25 Books Every Christian Should Read. Plus A Few More They Forgot.

posted by Jana Riess

I have a soft spot for guides like 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, which has been reviewed by multiple bloggers recently as part of the Patheos Book Club Roundtable. I tend to like books that direct me to other […]

A Joel Osteen Reality Show . . . Seriously?

posted by Jana Riess

Today on Twitter a notice flashed by about a Joel Osteen reality show, and I thought it was a joke. It’s actually not. Or if it is, it’s not intended to be. Entertainment Weekly reports that Osteen, who pastors a […]

15 Holiday Reading Suggestions

posted by Jana Riess

Last week at a book conference, I attended an intimate dinner to celebrate the forthcoming publication of my friend Lauren Winner’s memoir Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. At the table, we all introduced ourselves by telling about some of […]

iThanksgiving

posted by Jana Riess

Today is the first major holiday of my life that I will spend entirely alone. The good news is that I have plenty of fine books to read, and the house is warm and peaceful. The bad news is that […]

Book Giveaway of “Flunking Sainthood”

posted by Jana Riess

This week on Margaret Feinberg’s blog, she will be giving away three copies of Flunking Sainthood! Her question: How do you relate to being a “flunky” of sainthood? Her three favorite responses will win a free copy of the book. […]

Masada’s Women: A Review of Alice Hoffman’s “The Dovekeepers”

posted by Jana Riess

When I was nineteen years old I traveled for a month in Israel as part of a college Wintersession experience. Israel is always a contentious place, but especially at that time during the height of the intifada; any naïve idealism […]

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 […]

The Mormon Skeleton in My Family’s Closet

posted by Jana Riess

Every family has one, right? The skeleton in the closet. The story that doesn’t get told. I just didn’t realize that my own family’s story would involve a touch of shame about my religion. I’m an adult convert to Mormonism, […]

Charity Never Faileth . . . Especially When Mormons Tell Official Versions of Relief Society History

posted by Jana Riess

By Sarah Hogan The history of the Relief Society is riveting stuff–seriously–and a book that recounts what Mormon women have accomplished should be both fascinating and inspiring. Daughters in My Kingdom duly provides some of each. Readers are cautioned in […]

“Flunking Sainthood” News and Video

posted by Jana Riess

I’m feeling very humbled and grateful today and wanted to express that on the blog. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make these last two weeks so special in my life as a writer, either by dropping me a […]

Jacob Black, Pedophile?

posted by Jana Riess

With the Breaking Dawn movie coming out in a couple of weeks, hundreds of thousands of Twi-hards will be revisiting Part 1 of the conclusion to Stephenie Meyer’s saga of romance and the undead boy next door. Most of them […]

The Moral of “Colonial House”: Academics Like Me Are Entirely Useless

posted by Jana Riess

As part of our family’s homeschooling in American history, I’ve been revisiting the old PBS series Colonial House, in which about two dozen contemporary people recreate New England of 1628 by living for several months in a replica colony that […]

Our Monsters, Ourselves: Great Halloween Reading

posted by Jana Riess

I’m not much of a horror film aficionado, but of course I enjoy some of the darker sci fi, like the feminist fairy tale that was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I was intrigued to pick up the new book […]

Why Won’t 22% of Americans Vote for a Mormon Candidate? Help Some Filmmakers Find Out

posted by Jana Riess

Most Americans know enough about our national history to realize that no politician running for federal office should ever have to take a religious oath or pass an orthodoxy litmus test. It’s in that pesky Constitution: Article VI, paragraph 3. […]

Signing Today at Books by the Banks

posted by Jana Riess

Hey Cincinnati! If you love to read, stop by the Books by the Banks celebration today from 10 to 4 in the Duke Energy Center downtown. (Which is not technically by the banks, but we’ll work with it.) Here’s a […]

Ragamuffin Brennan Manning Teaches That “All Is Grace”

posted by Jana Riess

Everyone loves a reformed sinner, and Brennan Manning provides that in spades in his new memoir All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir. On second thought, I think the Irish-American Catholic writer might borrow from Protestant reformer John Calvin in adopting […]

Flunking Contemplative Prayer . . . Where Was Richard Foster When I Needed Him?

posted by Jana Riess

I got an F in Centering Prayer. I truly thought I would love that particular spiritual practice. I enjoy—even crave—silence as a part of every day. Also, I liked the notion of a deep prayer that would transcend the checklists […]

“One Thousand White Women” and Religious Stereotypes

posted by Jana Riess

Last month, the Cincinnati library system (which is outstanding, in case you’re not lucky enough to live here) chose One Thousand White Women as the book for the city to read. By happenstance, one of my book clubs chose it […]

If You Love Books, Take This Survey (You Might Win a Kindle Touch!)

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of scholars are doing a national study on reading habits, and specifically on why people read. Is it for escape? For education? For social reasons/book club participation? And how does religious belief and practice affect what people read […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mormon News & Commentary, from General Conference to The Bachelorette

posted by Jana Riess

Lots of news to report this week. First, hooray for new temples in South Africa, Colombia, and the D.R.C. as well as two in the American West.  Apparently the prototype at left is the preferred redesign among my Facebook friends […]

Becoming Gods: What Mormons Won’t Hear in This Weekend’s General Conference

posted by Jana Riess

This week, the cover story in the Christian Century is one I was asked to write about the “Mormon Moment” in America today, and all the attention given to the LDS faith in the wake of Broadway’s Book of Mormon […]

Why I Hit the “Dislike” Button on the New Facebook

posted by Jana Riess

I love Facebook, as and I’ve explained before, I think the idea of social media has strong theological import as well as pure entertainment value. (I admit there’s not much theological insight to be gained from looking up ex-boyfriends, but…there […]

A Muslim Wedding and an American Life

posted by Jana Riess

In July, I attended my first Muslim wedding, and it was an unforgettable occasion. The bride has been a good friend of mine for almost a decade, and in that time I’ve heard about the ups and downs of halal […]

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 […]

Mormon Women Advance through Retreating

posted by Jana Riess

I’m coming off a weekend high: a fabulous New Hampshire retreat with my peeps, an opportunity to try out scenes from my forthcoming book Flunking Sainthood on a new audience, and a chance to hang out with three of my […]

Hold the Phone: I Was Wrong about the “Inactive/Less Active” Terminology

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of days ago I blogged about the LDS Church encouraging Mormons to phase out the terms “inactive” and “less active” from their vocabulary. This is a story I had reposted from Wheat & Tares, which had a first-person […]

No More “Inactive” Members and a 9/17 Day of Service? This Week’s Mormon News & Commentary

posted by Jana Riess

Thoughts on four Mormon items in the news this week: 1) When was the last time you heard the terms “inactive Mormon” or “less active Mormon”? Over at Wheat and Tares, there’s an interesting post about a change brewing in […]

Revisiting My September 11 Sermon

posted by Jana Riess

This afternoon I dug into my computer files and found this old sermon that I gave on September 16, 2001, the Sunday after the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked. It was surreal to read it again a decade […]

Palmer Chinchen on Why He Hates Regret

posted by Jana Riess

Here’s a guest blog post from activist Palmer Chinchen, author of the new book God Can’t Sleep. Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say about it: GOD CAN’T SLEEP: Waiting for Daylight on Life’s Dark Nights Palmer Chinchen. David C. […]

The Serpent Beguiled Me, and I Did Tweet: A Twible Presentation

posted by Jana Riess

Here’s a 12-minute talk I gave last month about the Twible project, with some of my favorite tweets from the Old Testament. Hope you enjoy it.

Sesame Streetwalkers: Peggy Orenstein on the Sexualization of the American Tween Girl

posted by Jana Riess

My daughter is not a pink-princess kind of girl, but we’ve had enough glimpses of fairy wings and pixie dust to make me interested in reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein’s incisive and funny exploration of the “new girlie-girl […]

Can Mormonism Make a Place for Same-Sex Marriage? Guest Blogger Brad Carmack Says Yes

posted by Jana Riess

“Hi, my name is Brad Carmack, calling on behalf of Protect Marriage Maine.  Will you vote to maintain the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman?” This was my phone pitch in October of 2009.  Calling […]

Ecclesiastes: For Everything, There Is a Season. Even for Contradictions.

posted by Jana Riess

“I had no idea how cynical the Book of Ecclesiastes could be,” I told my writing group a couple of weeks ago. “It also contradicts itself over and over again: Life sucks, and then it’s beautiful. There’s no reward in […]

What We Can Take from “The Mormon Moment”

posted by Jana Riess

Today’s “Talk of the Nation” broadcast will be devoted to Mormonism: what it is, what it’s not, and why so many non-Mormons are afraid of it. I don’t know who all the guests are, but I’m thrilled that one of […]

Burying Dad

posted by Jana Riess

Tomorrow, I am burying my father’s ashes in a little cemetery in southern Illinois, where he can be laid to rest near his parents. It’s an odd kind of closure. Some of you know that my father crashed back into […]

Please Read: In the Garden of Beasts

posted by Jana Riess

Over the weekend I finished Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, which still ranks in Amazon’s top twenty after almost three months in release. I predict a long (and well-deserved) […]

Ask a Mormon: FAQ

posted by Jana Riess

Today on Rachel Held Evans’s blog, I attempt to answer her readers’ top questions about Mormonism. You can also check out prior interviews in her “Ask” series, in which she’s talked to an atheist, a Catholic, and an Orthodox Jew. […]

Mormon Testimonies, Religious Kitsch, and Chieko Okazaki

posted by Jana Riess

I’m traveling this week, so there’s not much time to blog today. At the FAIR conference, I caught the second half of a fascinating presentation this morning on the LDS Church and immigration policy. At the Sunstone Symposium I’ve had […]

Alabama Churches Fight New Anti-Immigration Law

posted by Jana Riess

Yesterday in Alabama, leaders from the Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, and Methodist denominations filed suit to halt enforcement of the state’s harsh new immigration law. (Apparently they’re in good company:  late yesterday, the justice department of the federal government also sued […]

Ask a Mormon . . . But Which Mormon?

posted by Jana Riess

Last night at dinner, a visiting 7-year old was trying to explain to me that duck-billed platypuses (platypi?) are actually mammals, even though they lay eggs. “But doesn’t the fact that they lay eggs automatically disqualify them from being mammals?” […]

Quiverfull, the Duggars, and Reading Psalm 127

posted by Jana Riess

Ever heard of the Quiverfull movement? Chances are you have and just didn’t know it. If you’ve ever watched 17 18 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggar family, you’ll be familiar with the basic premise: don’t use birth control, […]

Polygamy by Numbers: How Many Mormons Were Really Involved?

posted by Jana Riess

  Last week I discussed the question of polygamy’s role in Mormon theology and whether the LDS concept of heaven still suggests it will involve plural marriage. I’m intrigued by the apparent gender breakdown of the comments on this post, […]

We Are More Than Halfway through the Twible…

posted by Jana Riess

I don’t have any pithy thoughts on this week’s rather random collection of Psalms from the Twible, but I do want to say this: 1) We are almost finished with the Psalms. I love the Psalms, but man, I need […]

Hells Bells! Francis Chan Erases Hell, and Refutes Bell, in New Book

posted by Jana Riess

For someone who doesn’t actually believe in hell, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about it lately, a prurient pastime that I’ll leave others to psychoanalyze. In the last two years there have been some fascinating books on the […]

My Polygamous Heaven . . . Not

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely email from a woman who used to be LDS, and eventually left the Church over several issues, including the persistence of polygamous theology among Mormons. I’ve been meaning to answer some […]

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 […]

Are Younger Evangelicals More Respectful of Mormonism than the Old Guard?

posted by Jana Riess

As I mentioned recently on Flunking Sainthood, I had the opportunity earlier this month to be a guest on the Mormon Matters podcast with LDS blogger Joanna Brooks and evangelical pastor John Morehead, talking about theological differences between our religions. […]

Wake Up, God, and Get the Hell Out of Bed

posted by Jana Riess

In doing the Twible recently I’ve come across a whole genre that I like to call the “Wake Up, God, and Get the Hell Out of Bed” Psalms. These are the Psalms for when God feels impossibly far away at […]

When Theological Disagreement Spills over into Anti-Mormonism

posted by Jana Riess

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen a maelstrom over at Patheos, which published Warren Cole Smith’s article “A Vote for Romney is a Vote for the LDS Church” on May 24. As this follow-up interview makes clear, Smith believes […]

Netflix and the Burden of Too Much Choice

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve got a post up today at Gathering Voices on how Netflix is complicating my life. According to psychological research, too much choice can actually paralyze us from making any choices at all. Hmmm. So it would seem . . […]

Mormon Women, Twilight, and Internalized Sexism

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of years ago, I published a BYU Studies article about Mormon themes in Twilight that was picked up by Meridian, an LDS website. I received some feedback on the piece, mostly positive, though several readers took issue with […]

Thank You, Psalm 88

posted by Jana Riess

What do we make of Psalm 88? We saw last week that the Psalms of lament are a beautiful, if misunderstood, part of the Psalter, and that they serve a clear spiritual purpose. I talked about how much I liked […]

Authors, Have You Joined Amazon’s Author Central Yet? You Should.

posted by Jana Riess

Here’s an email I sent to all my WJK authors today, encouraging them to join Amazon’s free Author Central program. I joined myself earlier this week. One thing I learned is that the state where my books sell best is […]

One Year Later, Bruce R. McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”: Buh. Bye.

posted by Jana Riess

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the quiet removal of Bruce R. McConkie’s compendium Mormon Doctrine from Deseret booktores. All references to it had already been expunged from the Gospel Principles manual brought back into use for priesthood and […]

Psalms for When Your Life Completely, Totally, and Utterly Sucks

posted by Jana Riess

Ah, the Psalms of lament. In terms of the “big categories” of Psalms, this one is the granddaddy. It seems I’m not the only one who likes to complain about life occasionally. Or daily. Here’s a sampling of some of […]

Al Hsu Says God Is an Editor. Love This.

posted by Jana Riess

“An editor has an eschatological hopefulness that in the end a manuscript can become much more than it presently is; that it can find fulfillment and fruition in new and unexpected ways.” –Al Hsu Al Hsu (pronounced “shee”) is an […]

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 […]

Where Are All the Mormon Retreats?

posted by Jana Riess

Last weekend I talked too much, ate too much, enjoyed much-needed laughs, reconnected with friends, reflected more than usual about my faith, and got (a little) more sleep than usual. I was with a group of about 50 Mormon women […]

Psalms of Shame for an Achy-Breaky Heart

posted by Jana Riess

#Twible Ps 69: G, I know you don’t really want my enemies to triumph here. It would make you look like a total wuss deity. Man up, please. There’s a whole lot of shame in the Psalms. I guess it’s […]

Where Is God in Chronic Illness?

posted by Jana Riess

As we continue with our Thursday Spirituality series for May, we draw from what I thought was one of the most powerful essays in Allan Cole’s anthology A Spiritual Life. I had not heard of Elizabeth Damewood Gaucher before, but […]

May 21: It’s the End of the World As We Know It. Again.

posted by Jana Riess

Well, I’m going to be a little snarky here and hazard a prediction that the world will not really end on Saturday. Or even that the rapture will occur, taking 3% of the world’s population now before the world really […]

Lauren Winner on Why She Is A Christian

posted by Jana Riess

As we continue our Thursday Spirituality series for the month of May, we draw another excerpt from Allan Cole’s newly published book A Spiritual Life. This comes from my friend Lauren Winner, who is asked all the time why she […]

So You Want to Be a Mormon Novelist?

posted by Jana Riess

I recently wrote an essay, posted today at the Association of Mormon Letters website, about whether it’s more difficult for Mormon novelists to get published than it might be for other authors. I argue that it most certainly is. (Note […]

The Bible in Legos!

posted by Jana Riess

This past Sunday I spoke about the Twible project at an Episcopal church, with a Power Point presentation that drew heavily on images from The Brick Testament. And you thought the Twible was a quixotic project . . . ha! […]

Novelist Gail Godwin on Writing as Prayer

posted by Jana Riess

On this, our National Day of Prayer, it seems fitting to kick off our Thursday series for the month of May. Each week, I’ll be featuring a short excerpt from Allan Cole‘s book A Spiritual Life, which is a new […]

Mormon Women & Equality, In Stereo

posted by Jana Riess

I recently wrote a spirited blog post about Mormon women. I argued that, contrary to two recent assertions by the LDS hierarchy, Mormon women do not have full equality in the Church (even though these women are, as both speakers […]

What Inspires You?

posted by Jana Riess

Yesterday my husband and I woke up early to partake in an annual tradition: cheering on the runners and walkers in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon. We got to the race in time to catch the latter half of the first […]

Part 3: Still More Live Royal Wedding Blogging

posted by Jana Riess

10:40: Settling in to eggs, toast, and pilfered Easter candy. Oh, NOW the dog wakes up. 10:48: Not only does the queen look wonderful in yellow, but it seems a symbolic choice, like she has high hopes that this union […]

Part 2: More Royal Wedding Live Blogging!

posted by Jana Riess

9:41: Hey, good news!  Apparently it’s not just British women who can carry off great hats. Carrie from Ohio has a little red top hat. Ohio women like me have all been rehabilitated. Everyone, drink your tea. 9:47: Aaaaaaaw, it’s […]

Live Blogging the Royal Wedding

posted by Jana Riess

3:37 a.m. Aaaaugh! Insomnia again. Well, at least there’s something interesting to watch on TV. Forget about my plans to TiVo the royal wedding and see it tonight. Now I will be watching with millions of other people! It’s, like, […]

Cover art for “Flunking Sainthood”

posted by Jana Riess

Got my cover art today! I am so pleased with what Paraclete came up with. Here is the second draft, with some more small tweaks on color & text to come. –JKR  

Mormon Women Are Men’s Equals, Kind Of Sort Of Maybe

posted by Jana Riess

There’s a brilliant piece of Mormon satire up at By Common Consent today — all the more brilliant because judging from the initial comments, few people realized that the author, Kristine Haglund, was being satirical at all. Here is the […]

Pastor Brady Boyd on the Shootings at New Life Church and the Hope of Easter

posted by Jana Riess

On this, the anniversary of the Columbine high school shootings, I’m giving space to a book excerpt from Brady Boyd, a pastor in Colorado who has seen his own share of violent tragedy. In December 2007, a gunman opened fire […]

What Evangelicals Might Learn from Mormons … and Mormons Should Learn from Rob Bell

posted by Jana Riess

Rob Bell is my kind of heretic. His new book Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived has been loudly branded as heresy by fellow evangelicals Mark Driscoll and John Piper. […]

Remembering Edwin Gaustad, 1923-2011

posted by Jana Riess

I learned this week that my former professor and mentor, Edwin Gaustad, passed away near the end of March. (Here is the obit from the New York Times and another from the Washington Post.) I was lucky enough to study […]

The Civil War and America as a Christian Nation

posted by Jana Riess

The Civil War began 150 years ago today, an anniversary marked by the rebroadcast of Ken Burns’s masterful PBS series and a kajillion re-enactments this year. As we pause at this sesquicentennial commemoration we would do well to think of […]

Why We’re Still Peeking Upstairs and Downstairs with the BBC

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve got a post today over at The Thoughtful Christian about the enduring popularity of British class melodramas (Upstairs, Downstairs; Downton Abbey; The Cazalet Chronicles) in America. Why, in an allegedly classless society, do these stories about interclass tensions have […]

Psalm 24-31: This Week in the Twible

posted by Jana Riess

Actually, these were from a couple of weeks ago, not this week, but there is grace for Twiblers everywhere. My personal favorite from this batch is Psalm 31. Enjoy –JKR #Twible Ps 24: “Lift up your heads, O gates! Be […]

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 […]

Satan Sues Rob Bell for Defamation; Seeks $18B in Damages Over “Love Wins”

posted by Jana Riess

April 1, 2011 Satan announced today that Hell has filed for civil damages against HarperOne author Rob Bell, whose new book Love Wins hit shelves in March and has raised, well, hell. In the book, Bell asserts a universalist theology, […]

Good Reads: Thrift Store Saints

posted by Jana Riess

Have you ever preferred to simply write a check to charity rather than get involved in people’s messy, desperate lives? I confess that I have. Thankfully, some people are more courageous and compassionate than I am. One of them is […]

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 […]

My Unlikely Love Affair with the 23rd Psalm

posted by Jana Riess

When I was a kid growing up in an atheist/agnostic family (my dad was the atheist and my mother the agnostic), I did not learn about the Bible at home. Or anywhere else, really. My mom took us to Quaker […]

“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 […]

A Mormon Reviews Broadway’s New “Book of Mormon” Musical

posted by Jana Riess

I was prepared for scatological humor, generous doses of the F word, and off-color bawdiness—this is South Park without network censorship, remember?—but I wasn’t prepared for my Mormon faith to be lampooned with any sensitivity. I was happy to be […]

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a ...

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

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