About the Author

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Andrea Useem, creator and publisher of ReligionWriter.com, is a freelance journalist and editor based in Northern Virginia who specializes in writing about religion. Andrea holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, as well as a Bachelors degree in religion from Dartmouth College. Previously, Andrea worked as a freelance journalist in Eastern Africa for four years; she has also lived in Muscat, Oman. She is married and has three sons.

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A meeting point for academics, journalists and practitioners

I am looking forward to using this site as a place to explore the latest ideas in the field of religion. Every week, as I write articles, I speak with academics and graduate students who are doing interesting research. I find their ideas so exciting that I often ask: “Are you planning to write about this topic for a wider audience?” Usually the answer is, “No, I don’t have time…inclination… ability…”

I think about the work of Larry Iannacone, at George Mason University, who applies economic concepts to religion. Or the large crop of Muslim Americans now working on Ph.D.s in Islamic Studies — how are their interests and viewpoints different from the current generation of scholars? I’d like this website to a place where those interesting academic ideas and trends reach a wider audience.

At the same time, there is so much interesting thinking going on in the faith-based world. For example, the Leadership Network, a non-profit focused on innovation in the Christian world, conducts original and insightful research that would interest a larger audience. Meanwhile, ChristianityToday.com offers an incredible amount of analysis, commentary and news on a daily basis: how do they do it?

I am intensely interested in the many changes rocking the world of journalism right now. While a blog like Romenesko covers these upheavals through daily news clippings, no one is writing specifically about the coverage of religion at a time when so much is changing: Beliefnet is all about video now, while On Faith is one of washingtonpost.com’s most popular features. Is the coverage of religion improving? Changing? What should you be reading — or watching on YouTube?

So please watch this space — I hope to launch the site by mid-April. See you then!

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