Sometimes I feel like I belong to a religion that would be less likely to rebuke a member who made millions designing torture techniques than it would to censure that same man if he uttered the F word in public.
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.
In the person of Jesus, the sacred and the secular fused in a new and powerful way. Why should our celebration of Christmas be any different?
How many Mormons confess to hating polygamy, yet imagine themselves practicing it for all of eternity? How many believe on the one hand in a loving God who desires their eternal happiness and, on the other, that this same God would make them grit their teeth and be obedient to a practice they consider immoral?
Mormons Jay Bybee and Bruce Jessen dehumanized others . . . and then went to church on Sundays to partake of talks and lessons on basic morality. How did this happen, and what can Mormons do about it?
Paradoxically, Mormons improve our public image when we stop being so concerned with appearing perfect.
The eligible widower, the plucky heroine, the superiority of life in a small town: Marilynne Robinson’s novel “Lila” has all the usual tropes, but she manages to make all things new.
“It is one thing to believe that Mormonism is the right church for you,” says guest blogger Mette Harrison. “But I find it arrogant to say that this is the ‘one true church.’”
“NO red and green, NO Christmas trees, NO Santas appear in my house before at least December 20,” says author Sybil MacBeth. “I guess this is extreme.”
Of course we have to pile into the car on a national holiday in order to shop because if we don’t buy that flat screen today, right now, the terrorists will win.