Diana Butler Bass

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Diana Butler Bass
Bass in 2018
Born
Diana Hochstedt Butler

1959
Spouse(s)Unknown, and
Richard Bass
(m. 1997)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisStanding Against the Whirlwind (1991)
Doctoral advisorGeorge Marsden
Academic work
Discipline
Sub-disciplineHistory of American Christianity
School or traditionLiberal Christianity
Institutions
Websitedianabutlerbass.com Edit this at Wikidata

Diana Butler Bass[a] (born 1959) is an American historian of Christianity and an advocate for progressive Christianity.[1] She is the author of eleven books.

Bass earned a PhD in religious studies from Duke University in 1991 with an emphasis on American ecclesiastical history,[2] studying under George Marsden.[3] From 1995 to 2000, she wrote a weekly column on religion and culture for the New York Times Syndicate that appeared in more than seventy newspapers nationwide. She has blogged for the Sojourners God's Politics blog, On Faith at The Washington Post, Beliefnet, and The Huffington Post. As of this date,[when?] she authors the Substack newsletter The Cottage.

Bass is associated with Sojourners,[4] and with the Red-Letter Christian movement.[not verified in body] As of this date,[when?] Bass is a member of the Episcopal Church.

Early life and education[edit]

Diana Butler Bass was born Diana Hochstedt Butler in 1959, in Baltimore, Maryland.[2] She grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona.[5][6] Raised a United Methodist, she became an evangelical. She attended Westmont College, a Christian college in Santa Barbara, California, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981.

Bass received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree in ecclesiastical history from Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary in 1986. Studying under the supervision of George Marsden,[3] she received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in religious studies from Duke University in 1991.[7] Her doctoral thesis was titled Standing Against the Whirlwind: The Evangelical Party in the 19th Century Protestant Episcopal Church.[3][2]

Career[edit]

Bass worked primarily as an academic for a decade before becoming an independent scholar. She began in 1991 as an assistant professor of religious studies at Westmont College, from which she was fired in 1995.[8][9] She went on to serve as a history instructor at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1995 to 1996, as a visiting assistant professor of religious studies at Macalester College from 1996 to 1997, and as an associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College from 1997 to 2000. In 2002, the Lilly Endowment awarded Bass a major grant to support her research on mainline Protestant churches at Virginia Theological Seminary.[10]

Scholarship and writings[edit]

Bass's books range from a study of nineteenth-century evangelicalism (Standing Against the Whirlwind: Evangelical Episcopalians in Nineteenth-Century America) to a contemporary ethnography of mainline Protestantism (Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith) to theological explorations of contemporary life (Grounded and Grateful) to a spiritual memoir (Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community), the latter of which records her growing dissatisfaction with conservative evangelicalism. Throughout her work, she displays an interest in the role of religion in cultural and social change, and eschews programmatic spirituality and leadership in favor of encouraging Christians to seriously practice their faith as a way to reform American churches and political life.[dubious ]

Speaking appearances[edit]

In 2005, Bass appeared on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS,[11] and was, along with Martin E. Marty, one of two scholars chosen to represent mainline Protestantism in The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World, a book edited by the show's host, Bob Abernethy. In 2015, she was one of the keynote speakers at the Parliament of the World's Religions, held in Salt Lake City.[12][13]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Two of her books, Strength for the Journey and Christianity for the Rest of Us, have been named among the best books of their respective years by Publishers Weekly.[14][15] Christianity for the Rest of Us was named book of the year by the Academy of Parish Clergy.[16] Standing Against the Whirlwind was awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize by the American Society of Church History.[citation needed] Grounded: Finding God in the World and Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks won the Wilbur Award as the best nonfiction book of the year from the Religion Communicators Council in 2017 and 2019, respectively.[7] Grounded was also named the Book of the Year by the Religion Newswriters Association in 2016.[citation needed] As well, Bass has received multiple Gold and Silver awards from Nautilus Book Awards and Illuminations Book Awards.[7]

Her work has been written about by USA Today,[17] U.S. News & World Report,[18] Newsweek,[19] The Washington Post,[20] the Los Angeles Times,[21] and other papers, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Following her first marriage,[23] she married Richard Bass on January 18, 1997.[24]

List of written works[edit]

  • Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence. HarperCollins. 2021. ISBN 978-0-06-265952-1
  • Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks. HarperCollins. 2018. ISBN 978-0-06-265951-4.
  • Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution. HarperCollins. 2015. ISBN 978-0-06-232857-1.
  • Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. HarperCollins. 2012. ISBN 978-0-06-209828-3.
  • A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story. HarperCollins. 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-144870-6.
  • Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith. HarperCollins. 2006. ISBN 978-0-06-174128-9.
  • From Nomads to Pilgrims: Stories from Practicing Congregations. Alban Institute. 2006. With Joseph Stewart-Sicking
  • The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church. Alban Institute. 2004.
  • Broken We Kneel: Reflections on Faith and Citizenship. Jossey-Bass. 2004. ISBN 978-0-7879-7284-4
  • Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community. Jossey-Bass. 2002. ISBN 978-0-7879-5578-6
  • Standing Against the Whirlwind: Evangelical Episcopalians in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press. 1995. Published as "Diana Hochstedt Butler".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pronounced /bæs/.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elnes, Eric & Bass, Diana Butler (June 2011). Progressive Christianity: An Interview with Diana Butler Bass (video). Patheos.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c Hochstedt Butler, Diana (1991). Standing Against the Whirlwind: The Evangelical Party in the 19th Century Protestant Episcopal Church (PhD thesis). Durham, North Carolina: Duke University. OCLC 31391686.
  3. ^ a b c Dochuk, Darren; Kidd, Thomas S.; Peterson, Kurt W., eds. (2014). "Appendix: George Marsden's Doctoral Students and Their Dissertations". American Evangelism: George Marsden and the State of American Religious History. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 978-0-268-15855-2.
  4. ^ "Diana Butler Bass | Sojourners: Celebrating 40 Years of Faith in Action for Social Justice". Sojo.net. February 16, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Price, Seth (March 17, 2018). "'Grateful' with Diana Butler Bass". Can I Say This at Church (Podcast). Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Meet Diana Butler Bass". Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ. Archived from the original on April 16, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "About Diana | Diana Butler Bass". dianabutlerbass.com. August 24, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  8. ^ Bass, Diana Butler (March 3, 1993). "Between Two Worlds: Evangelical, Female – and a Scholar". The Christian Century. Vol. 110, no. 7. Chicago. p. 232. ISSN 0009-5281.
  9. ^ Bass, Diana Butler (March 28, 2018). "Practicing Gratitude: How Keeping a Journal Changed My Perspective". The Christian Century. Vol. 135, no. 7. Chicago. p. 10. ISSN 0009-5281.
  10. ^ Bass, Diana Butler. "About Diana". DianaButlerBass.com. self-published. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Diana Butler Bass Extended Interview | July 8, 2005 | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly". PBS. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "Diana Butler Bass | parliamentofreligions.org". parliamentofreligions.org. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "Salt Lake 2015 Parliament". parliamentofreligions.org. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  14. ^ "Strength for the Journey". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2007.[dead link]
  15. ^ "Christianity for the Rest of Us". Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2007.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Apclergy - Book of the Year, Top Ten Books published in 2006". Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2007.
  17. ^ Lynn, Cathy (November 1, 2006). "Some Protestant Churches Feeling 'Mainline' Again". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  18. ^ "Religion in America: Pumping life into mainline Protestantism" Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Author: There's Hope for U.S. Protestant Churches - Newsweek Society - MSNBC.com". September 8, 2007. Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  20. ^ "Old-Time Religion For Mainline Churches". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "Los Angeles Times: Archives - Religion". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. September 20, 2003. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  22. ^ Rodgers, Ann (June 11, 2007). "She studies what makes churches thrive - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Post-gazette.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  23. ^ Bass, Diana Butler (March 28, 2018). "Practicing Gratitude: How Keeping a Journal Changed My Perspective". The Christian Century. Vol. 135, no. 7. Chicago. p. 11. ISSN 0009-5281.
  24. ^ Bass, Diana Butler (2017). Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2nd ed.). New York: Church Publishing. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-89869-082-8.{

External links[edit]