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Bio

DAVID GIBSON is an award-winning religion journalist, author, filmmaker, and a convert to Catholicism. He came by all those vocations by accident, or Providence, during a longer-than-expected sojourn in Rome in the 1980s.



Gibson began his journalistic career as a walk-on sports editor and columnist at The International Courier, a small daily in Rome serving Italy's English-language community. He then found a job as a newscaster and writer across the Tiber at the English Programme at Vatican Radio, an entity he describes as a cross between NPR and Armed Forces Radio for the pope. The Jesuits who ran the radio were charitable enough to hire Gibson even though he had no radio background, could not pronounce the name "Karol Wojtyla," and wasn't Catholic. Time and experience overcame all those challenges, and Gibson went on to cover dozens of John Paul II's overseas trips, including papal visits to Africa, Europe, Latin America and the United States.



When Gibson returned to the United States in 1990 he returned to print journalism to cover the religion beat in his native New Jersey for two dailies. He worked first for The Record of Hackensack, and then for The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, winning the nation's top awards in religion writing at both places. In 1999 he won the Supple Religion Writer of the Year contest, and in 2000 he was chosen as the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year. Gibson is a longtime board member of the Religion Newswriters Association and he is a contributor to ReligionLink, a service of the Religion Newswriters Foundation.



Since 2003, David Gibson has been an independent writer specializing in Catholicism, religion in contemporary America, and early Christian history. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Boston Magazine, Commonweal, America, The New York Observer, Beliefnet and Religion News Service. He has produced documentaries on early Christianity for CNN and other networks and has traveled on assignment to dozens of countries, with an emphasis on reporting from Europe and the Middle East. He is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on the major cable and broadcast networks. He is also a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on Catholicism, religion in America, and journalism.



Gibson's first book, The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism (HarperSanFrancisco), was published in 2003 and deals with the church-wide crisis revealed by the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The book was widely hailed as a "powerful" and "first-rate" treatment of the crisis from "an academically informed journalist of the highest caliber."



His second book, The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World (HarperSanFrancisco), came out in 2006 and is the first full-scale treatment of the Ratzinger papacy--how it happened, who he is, and what it means for the Catholic Church. The Rule of Benedict has been praised as "an exceptionally interesting and illuminating book" from "a master storyeller."



Born and raised in New Jersey, David Gibson studied European history at Furman University in South Carolina and spent a year working on Capitol Hill before moving to Italy. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter and is working on a book about conversion, and on several film and television projects.

Benedict XVI continues to take heat on two fronts since last weekend’s reinstatement of four far-right, schismatic bishops: from Catholics anywhere to the left of Franco are upset at the implicit repudiation of Vatican II, and from Jews who are […]

An earthquake is rocking the Evangelical world as the longtime spokesman and Washington leader of the National Association of Evangelicals has resigned over comments he made to NPR revealing that he voted for Barack Obama (heresy) and he could support […]

I, among others, have posed the question (here and here) of what the future of Catholic politics might look like–if it has any future–in light of the great splits between and among Catholic voters and leaders during the recent presidential […]

This graphic from Kevin Drum at Mother Jones (via Secular Right and dotCommonweal) is interesting: The more politically committed people are, the greater the frequency of prayer. One thing it may say is that the idea that conservatives are more […]

Not the Dream Team some Catholics envisoned, but the President-elect dialed the Pope personally to thank him for the congratulatory telegram. According to CNS: The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed to Catholic News Service Nov. 12 that the president-elect […]

If and when the bishops do start talking about a new political strategy, they may want to keep in mind the remarkable victory of Tom (“Common Good Catholic”) Perriello over Virgil (Good ol’ Boy) Goode in Virginia’s fifth CD. Wish I […]

…At least officially. Dan Burke at Religion News Service has the scoop, that the USCCB has decided to remove from the agenda a discussion about Catholics and politics. They put the item on the agenda in September, and even this week archbishops […]

Judging by the headlines this campaign, you might have thought the shepherds were headed one way and the flock in another direction. That’s not quite the case, as reports of 50 or 60 or even 100 bishops promoting a “McCain-or-be-damned” […]

Yes, you CAN…tell us how you voted and why–and send a message to all those exit pollsters and post-mortem pundits by taking this very brief Beliefnet survey. Check back soon for ALL results from voters of all faiths. We want […]

Yes, the results of Notre Dame’s mock election are in, and the winner is…Barack Obama. According to The Observer, the campus newspaper: “2,692 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the mock election. Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and running mate Sen. […]

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