Past Meetup

Christianity After Religion: Provocative Author Talk with Diana Butler Bass

This Meetup is past

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We are excited to host best-selling author Diana Butler Bass for a provocative author talk she's titled: “Christianity After Religion: The End of Church or a Great Spiritual Awakening?” Diana Butler Bass is often grouped alongside Brian McLaren and Phyllis Tickle as among the most insightful and prophetic commentators on American religion, and she has held a leadership role in Emergent Village conversations over the years. She's sure to challenge your thinking and assumptions, so you don't want to miss this!

Like other aspects of American life, religion is going through a challenging period of change, transition, flourishing, erosion, and sometimes brutal decline (hey, let's be honest about the latter!). Many Americans are no longer satisfied with inherited forms of faith and institutional church that don't speak to their souls, so they are looking for something different. But no one is sure what the alternative might be (if any). Commentators keep reminding us that Americans now see themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” And it’s true, nearly every measure of conventional religiosity is down, from institutional membership to traditional beliefs.

In her new book (Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening), Diana Butler Bass re-examines the evidence on religious belief, challenges some popular beliefs, and draws out some surprising conclusions about our evolving spiritual sensibilities. (Click here to order online ( She finds that probing these deeper questions--and addressing them in meaningful ways--opens paths for a different sort of Christianity, one that offers genuine hope for spiritual awakening and cultural transformation.

Her conclusions? Well, I’ll mention two of them. First, she says that Americans are actually not claiming a “spiritual but not religious identity” but a “spiritual AND religious” identity (based on a proper understanding of the polls). Second, she finds that people now asking “how” questions (“How do I believe?”) rather than the “what” questions (“What do I believe?”). In other words, there’s a shift from beliefs to actions. Based on these conclusions, Bass charts the way for a new kind of Christianity to reclaim its relevance in a modern world where more and more people are claiming an identity as both religious AND spiritual. For the multitudes who have given up on a reliance on formal institutions to support their faith, but who still long for a spiritual home and community, Bass offers a picture of what that faith something might look like and points them in a direction for how it can be achieved.

More about our conversation partner: Diana Butler Bass is a best-selling author, former college professor, and one-time New York Times syndicate columnist (1995-2000) specializing in American religion and culture, and despite that...she has a sense of humor! (Follow her lively & humorous twitter and facebook posts by going to ( her website ( She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of eight books including the best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us (2006) which was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY.

She blogs at The Huffington Post and Patheos and regularly comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR.

Parking and Metro Logistics: Please note that we are meeting at Busboys, 14th and V, not Busboys, 5th and K!

Metro: This Busboys is a couple of blocks from the green line stop near the U Street/Cardozo metro station.

About Parking:
The last time I checked, lots of parking was available after 6PM at the Reeves Government Center for $10 - the entrance to the parking is on U Street between 14th and 15th. Actual address is: Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th Street NW (14th & U St), Washington, DC 20005)

Street parking is also available - best times for street parking is early in the evening on 14th Street or V Street - it is free after 6:30PM and on Weekends all day.