See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity.
These are not fables, and they are not compilations. These stories are messy. They do not come together neatly in the end with a moral and a clear sense of direction. Each story has a number of interpretations, and the decisions that each person makes could be debated. My hope is that these stories will open up your story and my story, and that telling will change us.
Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography
Julian of Norwich was a medieval mystic and the first woman to write a book in English. She has been called the “greatest theologian of the English language,” but much about her life is mysterious. This innovative biography illuminates Julian through exploration of her writings and of her 14th century context.
All of my work is fundamentally dialogic. These have been dialogues with subjects, dialogues with history dialogues with texts, but all of them have been in some sense about letting the voice of another person speak into my own reality. I am a Colorado-based writer. I live at 10,200 feet in wild and unkempt Leadville where I cook at the Community Meals, ski as much as possible in the mine-pocked landscape of the "eastside," and try to grow tiny, oxygen-deprived carrots in my backyard.
I have taken a circuitous path to becoming a writer and a poet. After graduating from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, studying Russian and living in Tallinn, Estonia, I got a Ph.D. at Duke University in Literature. My first book, Rapture Culture (Oxford 2004), is a study of readers of the apocalyptic Left Behind series.
I gradually recognized that writing was more important to me than academia. I came to Leadville for a different kind of rarified air and wrote my second book called Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography (Paraclete 2010). This book explores the life of Julian using her writing as a guide. It is an experiment in empathetic imagination, an attempt to get close to the mind of this extraordinary woman through both close reading and historiography.
All the while, I was researching what became my third book, See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity (Beacon 2011). I collected interviews of people asking them to tell me the story of the relationship between their religious lives and their sexual experience. I put these together into See Me Naked, also attempting to tell my own story of living the question of incarnation.
I am an Associate Editor of The Christian Century, where I spend most of my time writing feature stories, conducting interviews, trying to avoid blogging, and editing the media column.
My poetry, which is just emerging as a central part of my work, attempts to explore the "crossroads" of earth and sky, what Theodore Roethke calls "stillness becoming alive."
I am currently working on a book for Fortress Press on the history of the Christian apocalyptic and starting to amass resources for my next book, an exploration of women hidden in the landscape of Christianity.