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Former-vampire novelist Anne Rice has to be one of the most fascinating public converts to Christianity we’ve seen in a great while, not least because she is being so open about how she moved from atheism to Catholicism and, from within her changed perspective, she’s producing such interesting work.

This week, Anne Rice is taking questions from Beliefnet Community members. Check it out, and join in–there is still time to set up your profile, join the group, and ask Ms. Rice a question. 
The best part of the exchange so far, in my opinion:
From member Zero-Equals-Infinity

Is your return to Christianity an appeal of the forms and narrative, or is a return to the ‘beliefs,’ and if it is the latter, would you please expand upon how the beliefs that were let go in your college years came to be relevant and vital again?  I ask this, because like you, I shed my beliefs in Christianity in my college years, and while I appreciate many aspects of the varieties of Christian tradition, I find the hurdles of literalism and exclusivism which seem to pervuade Christianity intellectually difficult.  

Anne Rice‘s response:

Zero Equals Infinity — You have asked an elegant question and made an elegant statement. I’m impressed.  My return of faith was just that: faith in the existence of God came back to me.  Some have said this is a Gift from God, and I would have to say that it feels that way.  But I had been asking for faith for a long time.  As I said above, I let go of all the sociological and theological questions that were tormenting me.  I fell into a great “unknowing.”  I realized God knew.  Some one really was in charge, and some one really knew why evil was allowed to exist and why people suffered.  I didn’t have to know in order to declare my love for God.  So I let the questions go and I let the contradictions go.  I returned to the Roman Catholic church and vowed to stay out of the controversies amongst Catholics.  I went back to pray, to talk to God in a sacred space, to be with other believers, and I vowed not to argue with anybody about anything.  It’s hard to live this way.  Christians are a people who love to discuss their faith.  I want to embrace my fellow believers and non believers. I do not need to theologize or teach or preach.  That’s how I see it.  Of course I saw God in the universe.  I saw Him everywhere. My faith was visceral.  

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