Every Memorial Day, I remember how early Christians almost uniformly rejected any kind of military service–and how little we have learned from their witness to peacemaking.  As we pause today, it may well be good for our souls to consider this perspective from church history about what it means to be both a Christian and…

This week, my daughter’s sixth-grade class visited a mosque.  In advance, the teacher prepared instructions about how to dress and behave.  At home, we talked about respecting others’ faith (even when we find things difficult to understand), expectations of religious modesty, and differing roles for men and women in Christianity and Islam.  On trip day,…

With most of the online world buzzing about Lost, another tale of loss caught my attention in this morning’s Washington Post.  It began by posing the question:  “If 2008 was the year Democrats finally got religion, will 2010 be the year the party loses it again?” The story tracked Democratic successes with faith outreach in…

Although I grew up in a Methodist church in Baltimore, my grandfather had rejected religion and was quite vocal about his freethinker (that’s what we used to call atheist) views.  One day, when I was about eight, I asked him why he hated the church.  “Because it is full of hypocrites,” he replied.   Given…

Diana Butler Bass
about

Diana Bass

Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of seven books including A People’s History of Christianity: the Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009) Her best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us (2006) was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and Christian Century, won the Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY.

Diana regularly consults with religious organizations, leads conferences for religious leaders, and teaches and preaches in a variety of venues. She regularly comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. From 1995-2000, she wrote a weekly column on American religion for the New York Times Syndicate. She has written widely in the religious press, including Sojourners, Christian Century, Clergy Journal, and Congregations.

From 2002 to 2006, she was the Project Director of a national Lilly Endowment funded study of mainline Protestant vitality—a project featured in Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Diana also serves on the board of directors of the Beatitudes Society.

Diana has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She has taught church history, American religious history, history of Christian thought, religion and politics, and congregational studies.

She lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, D.C.

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