Leadership and Speakers

Leadership

David N. Hempton

David Hempton PhotoDavid N. Hempton is the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity. He is an internationally recognized historian of Christianity with particular expertise in populist traditions of evangelicalism in Europe, North America, and beyond. His many award-winning publications include Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750-1850 (Stanford 1984), Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale 2005), and The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century (Tauris 2011).

H. Bruce McEver

Bruce McEver PhotoThe Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative is being funded by Mr. Bruce McEver, who is the co-founder and chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, a 2011 graduate of the MTS program at Harvard Divinity School, and a published poet. He partnered with the late Ronald Thiemann to create the Religious Literacy Foundation and was recently honored with a bronze medal at the first Global Business and Interfaith Peace Award ceremony held in Rio de Janeiro before the Paralympic Games in 2016.

Diane L. Moore

Diane Moore PhotoDiane L. Moore is the founder and director of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School, where she is also a Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education and a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions. Her work is focused on advancing the public understanding of religion in collaboration professionals from a wide range of fields.  She is the Principal Investigator for both the Religious Literacy an the Professions Initiative and a Luce funded partnership with Oxfam investigating how international humanitarian aid organizations understand religion. 

Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero PhotoStephen Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University and the author of the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t (Harper 2007). His publications also include God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter (Harper 2010) and Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections) (Harper 2016). He has been a regular contributor to CNN’s “Belief Blog” and Newsweek/The Washington Post’s blog “On Faith,” and he has also written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, and Salon.

 

Keynote Speaker

Laurie Goodstein

Laurie Goodstein PhotoLaurie Goodstein is the national religion correspondent for The New York Times. After earning a B.A. from University of California Berkeley and an M.A. from the Columbia School of Journalism, she began her journalism career in 1989 at The Washington Post. She started as news assistant before becoming a metro reporter and then national reporter. While at the Post in both 1995 and 1996, she won two major awards for religion newswriting, The Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year and the Supple Religion Writing Award. She joined The New York Times in 1997.

 

Panelists

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle Banks PhotoAdelle M. Banks is a senior production editor and national reporter for the Religion News Service, where she has worked since 1995. She previously served as the religion reporter at The Orlando Sentinel as well as a reporter in Providence, Binghamton, and Syracuse, and her work has appeared in USA Today, The Huffington Post, and Jet magazine. Banks won the 2014 Wilbur Award for digital communications and multimedia for her work on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and she has twice been honored by the Religion Newswriters Association.

Michelle Boorstein

Michelle Boorstein PhotoMichelle Boorstein has served as The Washington Post’s religion reporter since 2006, overseeing and producing faith-related coverage.  Prior to her work at the Post, Boorstein reported for the Associated Press and the Springfield Union-News.  This year Boorstein is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.  Boorstein has twice been named the Religion Newswriters Association’s “Religion Reporter of the Year," and she has been awarded a fellowship through the Templeton Cambridge Journalism Programme in Science and Religion’s program on Islam and Science.

Jason DeRose

Jason DeRose PhotoJason DeRose is the Western Bureau Chief for National Public Radio News and has previously worked at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at WBEZ in Chicago. He has covered stories dealing with religion, ethics, and spirituality, including stories on Islam and anti-Muslim discrimination, Christianity and sexuality, and other topics dealing with religion in the United States. DeRose has taught courses on religion reporting at DePaul University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Religion Newswriters Association.

Lilly Fowler

Lilly Fowler PhotoLilly Fowler is currently an associate producer at the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.  She previously served as a religion reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was part of a Scripps-Howard Award-winning team that covered the events in and around Ferguson. Her writing has also appeared in Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, and her radio work has aired on Southern California Public Radio’s Off-Ramp, Marketplace Morning Report, and Arizona Public Media’s KUAZ.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. PhotoEddie S. Glaude Jr. is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. His publications include Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul (Crown 2016) and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America (Chicago 2007). In 2006, he worked with Cornel West to develop a public online course called the “Covenant Curriculum: A Study of Black Democratic Action.” Glaude has also written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Time, and he has appeared on the Tavis Smiley Show, Hannity & Colmes, CNN, and C-SPAN.

Eliza Griswold

Eliza Griswold PhotoEliza Griswold is a journalist and poet known for her coverage of the Middle East. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and The New Yorker, and she is also the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Griswold has been a fellow at the Guggenheim Foundation, the New America Foundation, and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in addition to being a recipient of the 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also taught courses in writing at Columbia University.

Stewart M. Hoover

Stewart M. Hoover PhotoStewart M. Hoover is a professor of Media Studies and Religious Studies and the Director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at the UC Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information. His publications include Religion in the Media Age (Routledge 2006) and Religion in the News: Faith and Journalism in American Public Discourse (Sage 1998), and he is the editor of The Media and Religious Authority (Penn 2016). He also served as the founding president of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture from 2012 to 2014.

Jaweed Kaleem

Jaweed Kaleem PhotoJaweed Kaleem currently serves as the national race and justice reporter at The Los Angeles Times.  He has also worked as The Huffington Post’s senior religion reporter and as a general news and religion reporter for The Miami Herald. Kaleem’s work on race, religion, and end of life care has received awards from the New York Press Club, The American Academy of Religion, the Religion Newswriters Association, and other organizations. While at the Miami Herald, Kaleem was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Debra Mason

Debra Mason PhotoDebra Mason is the director of the Center on Religion and the Professions at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she works to improve the religious literacy of professionals so they can better serve a religiously diverse public. She is also the Executive Director of the Religion Newswriters Association and publisher emeritus of the Religion News Service. Her publications include Investigating Religion: An Investigative Reporter’s Guide (Oxford 2013) and Reporting on Religion: A Stylebook on Journalism’s Best Beat (Religion Newswriters Association 2007).

Nathan Schneider

Nathan Schneider PhotoNathan Schneider currently serves as a Scholar-in-Residence of Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.  His writing addresses religion, economics, politics, and technology, and often the intersections therein.  Schneider has written for numerous publications including The Nation, Harper’s, Commonweal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Killing the Buddha, and has published two books: God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse.  Schneider has also served as the editor of two on-line publications: Killing the Buddha and Waging Nonviolence.

Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet PhotoJeff Sharlet is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College and the nationally bestselling author or editor of six books of literary journalism, including The Family (Harper 2008) and Sweet Heaven When I Die (Norton 2011). He is the co-founder of online religion journals The Revealer (with Kathryn Joyce) and Killing the Buddha (with Peter Manseau). Sharlet is a contributing editor for Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and Virginia Quarterly Review, and he is a frequent contributor to GQ and The New York Times.

Wendi C. Thomas

Wendi C. Thomas PhotoWendi C. Thomas is a columnist for The Memphis Flyer and was a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. During her fellowship year she studied how to deepen the public conversation on economic justice using a multimedia news website and a civic engagement campaign. Previously, Thomas was an editor at The Charlotte Observer and The Tennessean, and from 2003-2014 she was a columnist for the Memphis-based Commercial Appeal, writing on issues of racial and economic justice. In 2008, she founded a non-profit race relations initiative, Common Ground, that facilitated conversations about race in and around Memphis.

Diane Winston

Diane Winston PhotoDiane Winston is an associate professor and the Knight Center Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she teaches courses on American religious history and religion and media. In addition to her work as a religious studies scholar, she is the publisher of Religion Dispatches, a daily online magazine on religion, politics, and culture, and she serves on the executive board of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture. 

Angela Zito

Angela Zito PhotoAngela Zito is the co-director and co-founder (with Faye Ginsburg) of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University, which seeks to develop interdisciplinary, cross-cultural knowledge of how religious practices and ideas are shaped and spread through a variety of media. The Center publishes The Revealer: A Review of Religion and Media. Zito is also an associate professor of anthropology and directs NYU’s Religious Studies Program.

 

Research Staff

Lauren R. Kerby

Lauren R. Kerby is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies at Boston University, where she also teaches writing-intensive religion courses in the undergraduate Writing Program. Her dissertation, “Founders and Exiles: Lived History and Evangelical Identity in Christian Heritage Tours of Washington, D.C.,” analyzes the way that contemporary American evangelicals use history as a political resource. Lauren earned a B.A. in Religion with a minor in Classics from Colgate University in 2011 and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Boston University in 2014.

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman photoSarabinh Levy-Brightman coordinates and does research for the Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative.  Her academic background lies in the study of religion and she holds a Master’s degree from The University of Chicago Divinity School and an MDiv from HDS as well as a Bachlor’s degree in History and Religion from Vassar College.  For many years Sarabinh taught in high school humanities departments, both in English and in History.

 

Please register here for the symposium on Religious Literacy and Journalism.