Latest Works

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.

 


Biography

I write on religion, culture and spirituality for The Christian Century and other publications. I am the author of three books in the field of religion and culture, ranging in subject matter from the end times to medieval mysticism to contemporary sexuality, but held together by their curiosity about the stories humans tell about God.

I started my career in academia, earning a Ph.D. in literature from Duke University. My first book, Rapture Culture, published by Oxford University Press in 2004, is a study of readers of the apocalyptic Left Behind series. This book explores the connection between reading fiction and articulating religious commitments. Through in-depth conversations with readers, I assess how imagination forms and shapes belief.

My second book is Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography. This book brings the revered visionary Julian of Norwich to life through an exploration of the context of 14th century Norwich and a close reading of her A Revelation, the first book written by a woman in the English language.

See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity is a collection of nine non-fiction personal histories about the integration of spirituality and sexuality in contemporary America. I draw on my experience as an interviewer to elicit and then carefully render the stories of nine ordinary people who have struggled with the relationship between their religious beliefs and their sexual experience.

I am an Associate Editor of The Christian Century, where I spend most of my time writing feature stories, conducting interviews and trying to avoid blogging. I have a passion for soup kitchens, and I have cooked at the St. George Community Meal in Leadville, Colorado for more than 10 years. My essays about food, sex and religion are found in various literary and non-literary publications including the recently released The Spirit of Food and Relief Magazine: A Quarterly Christian Expression. I consider myself a connoisseur of the hole-in-the-wall restaurant and the eclectic market--in other words, I am ever in search of cheap and delicious food. I live in Leadville, CO with my husband and my son trying to grow wildflowers and tiny carrots in our back yard.