December 11, 2015

I’ve put together a list of my favorite books I read for the first time this year (here’s last year’s list).  I’ve shared five of my favorites as part of First Things’s favorite books of the year, and I’ve got the remaining seven favorites listed in chronological order of my reading below. (And, of course, as you guys think about gifts for family and friends, I’d be remiss not to ask you to consider getting someone my book, Arriving at Amen:… Read more

December 10, 2015

I’ve done two recent pieces for FiveThirtyEight looking at activist movements on college campus. Here Are The Demands From Students Protesting Racism At 51 Colleges A list of formal demands made at 51 U.S. campuses has been collected on a website called The Demands. FiveThirtyEight sorted through the list, categorizing each request and looking for patterns in the students’ priorities. The results, which offer a fuller portrait of this new movement, are shown in the following chart: Read more at FiveThirtyEight…… Read more

December 9, 2015

I had a lot of fun spending an hour with God and Comics’ three nerdy priests as we discussed the way comics change when they move online, our favorite weird niche strips made possible by the internet, and different stories’ different views of what it means to be a hero. Here’s the link to the episode. And here are the top five comic recommendations I’d give to readers of this blog (in alphabetical order): Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (graphic… Read more

November 30, 2015

If you’ve been meaning to check out my book on prayer, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer, today’s a great day to pick up a copy (or grab one as a gift for a friend).  The kindle edition is $4 on Amazon. If you’d prefer a paper copy, Ave Maria Press will take 30 percent off of the cover price when you buy from their website on Monday and use the code CYBER15 to check out. And… Read more

November 19, 2015

I had a great time talking to Jody Avirgan (my colleague at FiveThirtyEight) and Emma Green of The Atlantic about the limits of statistics to tell us interesting things about religion.  (This was the first time I got to meet Emma in person, and she’s just as sharp and delightful as her performance on this podcast implies). We wound up talking about our biggest gripes with the way religion data is covered (or collected!), some of the information we’d most… Read more

November 13, 2015

Over at FiveThirtyEight, I’ve got a rundown of a new paper that tried to check how receptive different Christian denominations were to new members of different races: A team led by Bradley Wright, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, sent emails to more than 3,000 churches across America. Each email was ostensibly from a person who had recently moved to the neighborhood, was thinking about joining the congregation, and wanted information about the church or parish…. Read more

November 12, 2015

If you’ve come here from the Toast, and want to know more about my conversion: you might like the series of three posts I wrote before my baptism (which rely heavily on musical theatre).  You might also want to take a look at my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Answer, which talks about what happened after I changed my mind — once I thought Catholicism was true, how did I learn to think with God in prayer,… Read more

November 6, 2015

I’m over at First Things today, to talk about how I cover religion statistics as both a Catholic and a journalist (two roles both oriented toward truth). In a way, these religion surveys remind me of the perennial studies of how few Americans believe that the earth goes round the sun, that evolution shaped human development, that vaccines don’t cause autism, etc. Each of those questions touches on something objective, just like questions about sin do—they’re a measure of how… Read more

November 2, 2015

If you’ve been enjoying listening to the Hamilton cast album, I definitely recommend hosting a listenthru party.  I had about 30 friends over this weekend to hear the whole album together, and we all had a great time. We started the afternoon with the rule “No singing along, and, if you can’t stop yourself from mouthing along, try to do it unobtrusively” but, as we got into it, that became “Ok, sing along to choral exclamations and maybe a bit of lipsync”… Read more

October 31, 2015

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