Yale Divinity School News Release

 CONTACT:    Gustav Spohn, Director of Communications and Publications203-432-3466,

Jared Gilbert, Communications Consultant


April 17, 2013

NEW HAVEN, CT—On April 25, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Ross Douthat and best-selling religion writer Diana Butler Bass will face off on the controversial subject of the future of faith at a presentation hosted by Yale Divinity School.

Douthat is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2012), which decries the collapse of traditional faith and the rise of a variety of “pseudo-Christianities,” and Bass’s most recent book is Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012), which argues for fresh, contemporary modes of faith and spirituality that nonetheless remain true to the Gospel message.

The event will be held in YDS’s Marquand Chapel, but live online viewing will be accessible at:

The first hour of the program will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a discussion on “The Future of Faith: Two Views,” followed by a second-hour discussion at 4:30 pm on “The Future of Faith and Church Life.”

Moderating the sessions, respectively, will be two alumni of Yale Divinity School—veteran television news correspondent Robert Abernethy, executive editor and host of the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, and Lillian Daniel, senior minister at First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn, IL, whose latest book is When “Spiritual but Not Religious” Is Not Enough (Jericho Books, 2013).

Douthat was previously a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly and a blogger for In addition to Bad Religion, he is also the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005) and the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (Doubleday, 2008). He is also film critic for National Review.

Bass, a popular speaker on American religion and culture, is the author of eight books, including, in addition to Christianity After Religion, A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009), nominated for a Library of Virginia literary award, and the best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (2006).

Abernethy has been host of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly ever since he developed and created the program for PBS. The half-hour newsmagazine, soon entering its 17th season,   has won numerous awards for its thoughtful and insightful coverage of all religions, all denominations and all expressions of spirituality in American life, as well as for balanced presentation of the profound moral issues facing the nation.  Daniel, who has served First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn since 2004, is an editor at large for the Christian Century Magazine, and a contributing editor at Leadership Journal.  In addition, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Books and Culture, The Journal for Preachers, and in the daily email devotionals available at, with over 20,000 subscribers. She is also a board member of Interfaith Worker Justice.




Yale Divinity School 409 Prospect St. New Haven, CT 06511