The “Prayer of St. Francis” was not written by St. Francis, and many other great religious quotes can’t be traced to the famous people whose names are memed with them.
Author Archives: Jana Riess
About Jana Riess
Jana Riess, a senior columnist at Religion News Service, has been an editor in the publishing industry since 2008, primarily focusing in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. (Learn more about her freelance editorial business and rates here.) 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 Mormonism and American Politics; 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.
Denver Snuffer claims Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy, but later Mormon leaders attributed the practice to him to sanction their own plural marriages.
Elder Nash’s devotional this week opens the door to a new Mormon folk doctrine that gay people will have to become heterosexual to reach heaven. Guest blogger EmJen explores the implications.
“I truly believe that the leaders of the LDS Church meant it when they said that the new policy changes of November, 2015, were done out of love . . . that they are trying to figure out a way to show love to a marginalized group,” says guest blogger Mette Harrison. “I also believe they were wrong.”
The LDS Church’s statement offers a flat-out denial coupled with a blame-the-victim mentality and inexplicable claims about all the great things we’ve done to prevent a problem that — did we mention? — never existed among our people anyway.
Recent allegations say suicide is on the rise for LGBT Mormon teens. While the specific details are disputed, the basic message is clear: Mormons need to do much better.
A Mormon romantic comedy about Adam and Eve sets the scene: God destined them to be together, but she’s just not that into him.
From using wine in the sacrament to allowing women to prophesy, the fellowships that have grown up around excommunicated Mormon Denver Snuffer are trying to restore the teachings and practices of the early Latter-day Saints.
Just when some of us are feeling squeezed out of the Mormon tent, a book comes along to remind us: Zion is more spacious than we may realize.