June 9 commemorates Columba, the Abbot of Iona (d. 597), who has become a rather unlikely saint-hero to contemporary emergence, liberal, and progressive Christians–as well as postmodern folks who might identify themselves as spiritual but not particularly religious. Born in Donegal, Ireland in 521 with the given name, “Colum,” meaning “dove,” Columba devoted his life…

June 5 is World Environment Day.  Similar to Earth Day, WED celebrates the global movement for environmental activism by commemorating the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the first such international conference.  June 5 also marks the Feast Day of St. Boniface (672-754).  St. Boniface is remembered as the Apostle of the Germans…

Like most Christians, I don’t pay attention to missives from church leaders.  This week, however, dueling pastoral letters issued for Pentecost from Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, and Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, caught my attention–because one so rarely witnesses a first-class theological smack down between tea-drinking Anglican…

June 1 celebrates Justin Martyr (d. 165), a Christian philosopher who integrated faith and philosophy–appreciating ancient wisdom and argued that “Socrates was a Christian before Christ.” Before embracing Christianity, Justin mastered many ancient philosophies (he studied at the best schools of antiquity) including Stoicism and Platonism.  While walking on a beach in Ephesus, an elderly…

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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