Dr. Diana Butler Bass
Denomination: The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of nine books including Grounded: Finding God in the World--A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015); Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012); and A People's History of Christianity: the Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009). Her best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us (2006) was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and Christian Century, won the Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY.
Diana regularly consults with religious organizations, leads conferences for religious leaders, and teaches and preaches in a variety of venues. She regularly comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. From 1995-2000, she wrote a weekly column on American religion for the New York Times Syndicate. She has written widely in the religious press, including Sojourners, Christian Century, Clergy Journal, and Congregations.
From 2002 to 2006, she was the Project Director of a national Lilly Endowment funded study of mainline Protestant vitality-a project featured in Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Diana also serves on the board of directors of the Beatitudes Society.
Diana has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She has taught church history, American religious history, history of Christian thought, religion and politics, and congregational studies.
She lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, D.C.
Day1 Weekly Programs by Dr. Diana Butler Bass
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Diana Butler Bass: Bread Enough for All
Tuesday August 07, 2018
In her message on John 6, Dr. Diana Butler Bass says that bread is both real food and spiritual food in the age to come… and in the same way that actual bread is transformed by air, so the bread of Jesus is transformed by the Spirit.
The Power of Today
Tuesday January 19, 2016
In her sermon, Diana Butler Bass says 'Today' is a powerful and dangerous idea. In Luke 4, Jesus essentially tells his friends, Look around and see the Spirit of God at work, right here, right now. God is with us, today. And we may need to remember that.
Articles by Dr. Diana Butler Bass
Diana Butler Bass: The Holy Thursday Revolution
Friday April 22, 2022
Before the pandemic, I was often asked to preach on the second Sunday after Easter. The traditional verses for that day are always the same in liturgical churches — John 20:19-31 — the story of Jesus’ first post-resurrection appearance, including the popular account known as “Doubting Thomas.”...
Diana Butler Bass: The Mystical Body of Zoom
Tuesday February 15, 2022
Diana Butler Bass says online church is a gift to be embraced.
Diana Butler Bass: Forty Days
Thursday September 24, 2020
There are 40 days to the election. I invite you to consider this election season to be like Lent, a time of prayer and practice.
Diana Butler Bass: Pentecost, Prejudice, and Pandemic - A Sermon for Pentecost 2020
Friday May 29, 2020
In her Church Anew article, Diana Butler Bass says Pentecost is the noisiest of all Christian holy days—a party, the “birthday of the church,” celebrated with banners, red balloons, and cake. We re-enact Acts 2 in multiple languages, reminding us that God sent all humankind a gift—the spirit with its promise of peace and portents of salvus for the healing of the earth. But this week, names....
Diana Butler Bass: On Hoarding Eucharist in a Hungry World - Church Anew
Tuesday May 05, 2020
In this time of COVID-19 lockdowns and churches moving to virtual communion, Diana Butler Bass reflects on a conversation she had with Phyllis Tickle.
Diana Butler Bass: Choosing Gratitude as a Way of Life
Thursday April 12, 2018
A friend of mine recently went through a painful personal crisis. At first, it seemed to be the result of a breakup. Then it went deeper, as he realized that he did not understand the meaning or purpose of his own life. He was both anxious and depressed. 'I think,' he confessed, 'that I’m really having a spiritual crisis.'
Diana Butler Bass: A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2016: Choose Gratitude
Thursday November 24, 2016
God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors. When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful. But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.
David Crumm: Get ”˜Grounded,’ Part 5: Where is God? Perhaps””at dinner
Tuesday August 23, 2016
This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new “Grounded: Finding God in the World” and read along with us. Over five weeks, David and Debbie have published five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 5, our concluding reflection.
David Crumm: Get ”˜Grounded’ this summer, Part 3: Roots and Home
Tuesday August 09, 2016
ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new “Grounded: Finding God in the World” and read along with us. David and Debbie offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 3, looking at the sections of Diana’s book on Dirt, Water and Sky
David Crumm: Get ”˜Grounded’ this summer, Part 2: Dirt, Water and Sky
Tuesday August 02, 2016
This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new Grounded: Finding God in the World and read along with us. For five weeks, David and Debbie will offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. This week, Debbie offers Part 2, looking at the sections of Diana’s book on Dirt, Water and Sky...
David Crumm: Get ”˜Grounded’ this summer for spiritual renewal
Tuesday July 26, 2016
This summer, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Christian educator Debbie Houghton invite readers to get a copy of Diana Butler Bass’s new Grounded: Finding God in the World and read along with us. For five weeks, David and Debbie will offer five reflections on Bass’s book with questions to consider. Here is Part 1 …
Diana Butler Bass: War of the Gods
Wednesday November 18, 2015
Fundamentalists get all the headlines with their brutal dedication to a deity whose day is nearly done. But this other God revolution is happening as well -- and it is that which can heal and save us.
Diana Butler Bass: Where Is God?
Thursday October 15, 2015
What good is God-in-Heaven when the problems are here? Why won't a benevolent God stop human suffering and fix everything? Where is that God, the one who is supposed to love and care? The perfectly logical response to these questions - especially now - is that there is no God. Thus, humanism, agnosticism, atheism, and post-theism are all on the rise. For it seems clear: a distant God will no longer do.
Diana Butler Bass: Which Niebuhr, President Obama?
Wednesday September 11, 2013
When it comes to Syria, President Obama seems to have been channeling Reinhold Niebuhr as he pressed for U.S. military action to punish the atrocity of a nation gassing its own citizens. But maybe his brother, H. Richard Niebuhr, has something to say.
Diana Butler Bass: RIP: The Death of Protestant Politics
Tuesday May 07, 2013
On April 25, the Washington Post ran side-by-side obituaries of Howard Phillips and Robert Edgar in its print edition. The two men, one 72 and the other 69, died within three days of each other.
Diana Butler Bass: The Future of Faith
Thursday May 02, 2013
The American religious future will be made as Christians engage these emerging cultures in meaningful, life-giving ways.
Diana Butler Bass: Where Was God in Newtown?
Thursday December 20, 2012
Since the Newtown killings, much public conversation -- between friends, in sermons, through social networks and blogs, and even in the mainstream media -- has centered on God.
Diana Butler Bass: Progressives, Advent, and the End of the World
Sunday December 09, 2012
If we enter the Advent journey with a different perspective on time, the apocalyptic texts speak afresh. Indeed, the words of the liturgical prayer weekly reminds us of the mystery of God's redemptive time: Jesus has come; Jesus comes; Jesus will come. This is the dance of time, grace-filled steps that enact God's vision that the end-times are all times; that all times are the end-times.
Chris Yaw Interviews Diana Butler Bass: What Will Tomorrow's Church Look Like?
Monday October 08, 2012
A wide open, Wiki-community, more dependent on the wisdom of many will dominate the church of tomorrow says author and speaker Diana Butler Bass. This is just one trend Diana, a historian by background, has been tracking. She says the next generation is much more apt NOT to believe in God – so it’s important for churches to come clean in the areas of honesty and a willingness to admit we don’t know it all.
Diana Butler Bass: Can Christianity Be Saved? A Response to Ross Douthat
Monday July 16, 2012
The real question is not "Can liberal Christianity be saved?" The real question is: Can Christianity be saved?
David Crumm Interviews Diana Butler Bass on Growing Healthier Churches
Friday April 06, 2012
ReadtheSpirit.com editor David Crumm interviews noted author Diana Butler Bass on her new book "Christianity After Religion," and explores how to grow healthier churches.
Video by Dr. Diana Butler Bass
A Day1 Minute with Diana Butler Bass - 1
Wednesday February 21, 2018
Take a minute to watch an inspiring word from author and scholar Diana Butler Bass in our new Day1 Minute video series!
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace
Friday February 17, 2012
Author and religious historian Diana Butler Bass sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss her new book, Christianity After Religion, and delves into the roots of the crisis that churches of all kinds are facing, causes ranging from September 11th to the abuse scandal the Catholic Church faces, and where she sees the future of worship and Christianity. Join us for a conversation of faith and hope, only on Day1.
Does The Church Have A Future? - Diana Butler Bass
Tuesday February 14, 2012
Diana Butler Bass offers a compelling analysis of where she sees the church headed in the world of faith in which we live today. In this brilliant segment she explains the premise of her new book, _Christianity After Religion,_ and explains where she sees the church going in this uncertain age.
Conversation with Diana Butler Bass - 30 Good Minutes Interview
Monday November 09, 2009
Lillian Daniel and Lydia Talbot in conversation with Diana Butler Bass, who says, "An amazing amount of people in their 20s and 30s right now are breaking through all the boundaries and trying to create a generative faith based on love."
A People's History of Faith - Diana Butler Bass on 30 Good Minutes
Monday November 09, 2009
Historian of religion, Diana Butler Bass, author of "A People's History of Christianity," suggest that we look at Christian history from the starting point of the Great Commandment ("Love God and love your neighbor as yourself") rather than the Great Commission ("Go into all the world") for a new perspective on that history.
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Video Features part 4
Friday June 05, 2009
Author, speaker and scholar of American religion and culture sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss the decline of the church on the worldwide stage, the loss of the interest of youth, and the challenges to the institutional structure of the church in new times.
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Video Features part 3
Friday June 05, 2009
Author, speaker and scholar Diana Butler Bass sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss some of the lesser known people who influenced Christianity over the centuries.
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Video Feature part 2
Thursday June 04, 2009
Author, speaker and scholar of American religion and culture sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace at the 2009 Festival of Homeletics in Atlanta to discuss the study of contemporary history, specifically the study of religion and culture, and the applications of past lessons to modern challenges in the church. Diana also discusses the high level of contention around writing a standard history of Christianity, and the spread of "triumphalist" texts on the subject.
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Video Feature part 1
Thursday June 04, 2009
Author, speaker, and scholar of American religion and culture Diana Butler Bass sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss the study of contemporary history and the future of the church.
Radio by Dr. Diana Butler Bass
A Conversation with Diana Butler Bass
Tuesday January 01, 2013
In this special Day1 Podcast Extra, author and religious historian Diana Butler Bass and Day1 host Peter Wallace discuss her new book, Christianity After Religion.
Diana Butler Bass - Day1 Podcast Extra
Monday September 28, 2009
Author, speaker, and scholar of American religion and culture Diana Butler Bass talks with Day1 host Peter Wallace about the study of contemporary history and the future of the church.