Episode 73 - Tom Krattenmaker


Been a while since we've been with you, lovelies. The world continues to end. Or is it just continuing to transform itself? This show has always been about borders. About intersections. About the boundaries out on the edges of the Self where subject and object, self and other, start to blend. Now, it seems more than ever, we need to engage the great, maligned and feared "other" rather than succumbing to the constant barrage of media that seeks to make us demonize and simply dismiss that which isn't "Us." Our guest this episode is a person that seeks to change that orientation. 

Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life and author of the new book Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower (Convergent, 2016). His first book, Onward Christian Athletes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), examined Christianity in professional sports. The book was a winner in ForeWord Review’s 2009 book awards and a finalist in the Oregon Book Awards. Krattenmaker’s second book, The Evangelicals You Don’t Know (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), on the “new evangelicals” in post-Christian America, was a winner in the best books competition of the Religion Newswriters Association in 2014.

Krattenmaker writes regularly for USA Today’s op-ed page as a member of the newspaper’s
editorial Board of Contributors. His column-writing was honored by the American Academy of Religion in its 2009 Journalism Awards program, receiving praise for challenging popular misconceptions about evangelicals “and showing that something new, something more complex and subtle is going on — a great goal for religion commentary.” His work has also appeared in recent years in the Washington Post, Religion News Service, and Huffington Post, among numerous other media outlets.

Krattenmaker’s numerous media appearances include Fox & Friends, the documentary “Lord Save Us From Your Followers,” National Public Radio, the New York Times “Idea of the Day” website, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,”  the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Nation, Christianity Today, Air America, the Michael Smerconish Show, the Michael Medved Show, Portland Monthly, and radio networks/stations including Fox, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and numerous regional and local outlets.

Named the 2009 Mendenhall Lecturer at DePauw University, Krattenmaker has also spoken at college campuses including Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Baylor, Lewis & Clark, Willamette University Law School, the University of Portland, Portland State University, Missouri State University, and Springfield, Swarthmore, and Haverford, and Kilns colleges. He was a recipient of the 2009 “Friend of MET” award from the Portland-based Muslim Educational Trust and, in April 2013, was honored by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon with its Hunderup Award for Religious Education. He resides with his wife in New Haven, Connecticut, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Yale Humanist Community

We recorded this episode a few months ago. Before the Trump era had fully taken hold. It is interesting to listen to the perspective of a cultural critic sitting on the front end of what was to come. We tend to avoid the overtly political here at OTBR. But in these times, even the exploration of consciousness seems to be a political enterprise (in that it involves people coming together to build consensus and mutual understanding). Tom is a great example of what a version of this understanding and mutuality might look like going forward. We were delighted to speak with him.