Journalists write about their faith

Cathy Grossman, USAToday interviews 4 journalists who have written books about their faith journeys. Usually religion reporters report what others are doing with religion and faith. In these books they reflect on their personal faith stories:

Cathleen Falsani

Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace

Anyone scanning the spiritual horizon for flashes of faith’s quietly splendid moments might use this bird-watching handbook for grace.

Cathleen Falsani, the Chicago Sun-Times religion columnist and blogger, The Dude Abides, tells personal stories to illuminate its sights and sounds — the “audacious, unwarranted, and unlimited” gift from God — on the wing.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Scienceof Spirituality

The religion reporter for National Public Radio is nearly naked in her new book. Spiritually naked, that is.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s scientific exploration of spirituality research weaves in her faith history: a devout Christian Scientist who shifts to evangelical Christianity, then develops a gnawing desire to answer the question “Will science get the last word on God?”

William Lobdell

Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace

Journalist William Lobdell had the classic Christian story — sinner saved by grace — until his born-again fervor led him to become a suburban religion columnist and eventually a religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

He gives the ending away in the title: Losing My Religion. At first, he delights in upbeat stories of people living lives of faith. “Believers see God’s work everywhere, and the God things I saw all around me cried out to be covered,” he writes.

But the snake in the garden appears early. Someone gives him files on a priest who sexually abused minors. Lobdell sets the papers aside, “distracted” by other work, 14 months before the abuse crisis hit nationwide in 2002.

By then, Lobdell had encountered other troubling issues: believers who distorted their faith with hypocrisy, selfishness, zealots who turned their backs on family.

Peter Manseau

Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead

Peter Manseau has made — from teeth and whiskers, fingers and ribs — a globe-traveling tale of the one thing all humanity shares: the body.

In Rag and Bone, he takes a world tour of relics.

St. John the Baptist’s finger. Mohammed’s whisker. St. Francis Xavier’s toe. Even Buddha’s teeth are “politically active” as “tools of piety and power” in Myanmar.

“Every religion is a banquet of holy lives: These are the leftovers,” Manseau writes after traveling from Jerusalem to Goa, Kashmir to Paris


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