The unsettling new book “3 Hours in Mormon Heaven” warns readers: get all your R&R in now, because there’s no rest for the righteous where you want to be going.
Author Archives: Jana Riess
About Jana Riess
Since 2008, Jana Riess has been an acquisitions editor in the publishing industry, primarily acquiring in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to write freelance articles and reviews for PW as well as other publications.
She holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University. She speaks often to media about issues pertaining to religion in America, and has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, People, the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday, among other print publications, as well as “Voice of America,” the "Today" show, MSNBC, and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Tell Me More,” and “Talk of the Nation.”
She is the author, co-author, or editor of books including The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less . . . Now with 68% More Humor!; Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor; What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as a Spiritual Guide; Mormonism for Dummies; and The Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published. She blogged for Beliefnet before coming to RNS in 2012.
The independent Mormon movie “Freetown” is inspiring and well-told without resorting to heavy-handed preaching. Thumbs up! Filmmaker Garrett Batty talks here about making the movie, which opens in the US on April 8.
People often ask Mormon novelist Mette Harrison why she sticks with the LDS Church even if she has some problems with it. “I believe in the principle of conversation and compromise,” she says.
In a university that prides itself on its visible support for religious freedom, it’s ironic that its own students are not religiously free. It’s also unfortunate that something called an “Honor Code” implicitly encourages students who doubt their Mormon faith to lie about that fact in order to maintain their degree program, housing, and employment.
Defending the priesthood ban as a righteous doctrine just so we can protect our need for to worship an idol that’s predictable and in keeping with our own expectations is a violation of the first commandment.
The LDS Gospel Topics statement about race should have laid to rest the folk doctrines that once propped up Mormonism’s racist priesthood ban. But convert Bryndis Roberts says racism still exists, and asks the Church to help more Mormons get the memo.
The LDS Church is walking a tightrope, wanting to stand firm on its doctrinal opposition to same-sex marriage while also (a bit belatedly) affirming equal rights for LGBT persons.
“I don’t know if my visiting teacher literally saved my life, but she very well may have,” says novelist Mette Ivie Harrison. Now, she gets to return the favor.
Adam S. Miller says Mormons are doing a better job nowadays thinking about grace, but we need to stop seeing it as God’s backup plan to deal with human sin. To do this, he offers a fresh interpretation of Romans, a book of Scripture historically neglected in the LDS curriculum.