Today I signed up to read the Book of Mormon with a group over the next 239 days. Yes, pathetically enough, I need an entire freakin’ village to keep me on the spiritual straight and narrow.
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.
It’s true that some R-worthy movies, books, and music have little to offer, either in artistic value or moral strength. But others absolutely do. For Mormons to close ourselves off to those cultural truths sight unseen is ridiculous.
What was life like for Mormon pioneer women in polygamy? In an excellent new book, Paula Kelly Harline lets them tell us in their own words.
Naomi Schaefer Riley heralds the Mormon singles ward for giving young adults actual responsibilities, but says that patterns of later marriage may add to defections from the Church.
Mormonism has a so-so approval rating of 48% overall — but it’s notably lower among young adults, African Americans, and Democrats.
After years feeling uncomfortable with the many artificial ways Mormons evangelize, being encouraged to make friends just for the sake of making friends was good news indeed.
There’s a lot Bob Rees didn’t know when he was first called to be a Mormon bishop. But he did know one thing: he was not going to excommunicate anyone.
According to figures released yesterday, Mormons are the least likely to approve and most likely to disapprove of President Obama than any other religious group — by far.
It’s a brave new world now when Mormons are left with only the teachings of the Book of Abraham itself, and no props of alleged history. What does this scripture say that we still need? What would we do best to forget?