For all of us at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, this is a time of transition. As I conclude 12 years as the Center Director on June 30, we await news on the next Director. Tiffany Stanley, the longtime managing editor of our flagship journal, Religion & Politics, left in March to take an exciting new job at the Associated Press, joining its global journalism team to be able to pursue more of her own reporting as well as editing. Our outstanding student intern, Elijah Wiesman, will take a break from the journal to work in Boston this summer. Opportunities for new beginnings seem to be greeting us from all angles.
Some words about Tiffany: Tiffany has commissioned and edited well over 600 pieces since the journal’s founding from a vast range of writers across the United States. Each one has come to me for final top edits, but the lion’s share of the effort has been hers. The pieces she has produced have been consistently excellent, thanks to her deft intellect and meticulous editorial eye. We will sorely miss Tiffany’s collaborative presence and exceptional oversight of this publication, but we are thrilled for this advance in her career and wish her all the best.
Religion & Politics launched in May 2012 as an online journal dedicated to the public dissemination of information about religion and politics in the U.S. Carrying the tagline “fit for polite company,” from the start it has been an important project of the Center and a core component of the Center’s public educational mission. The journal averages half a million visitors to our website annually, many of them new. In 2020, we had more than one million pageviews. Religion & Politics has won numerous awards from the Religion News Association, the leading professional organization for religion journalism. We currently have 13,800 followers on Twitter and over 13,000 followers on Facebook. We have provided a home for hundreds of essays, reported features, reviews, and interviews since our launch. We have published conversations with John C. Danforth, Joe Lieberman, Eddie Glaude, Krista Tippett, David Brooks, E.J. Dionne, Natasha Tretheway, Eboo Patel, Wallace Best, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and the Most Rev. Michael Curry, among many others. Some of the academic voices who have written for the journal in recent years include Yolanda Pierce, Kevin Kruse, Stephen Prothero, Randall Balmer, Molly Worthen, Jonathan Walton, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Charles Marsh, Richard Garnett, and Shaun Casey. We’ve also published many well-known journalists, authors, and commentators and covered a wide range of subjects that illuminate the capaciousness of the religion-and-politics nexus.
As the Center continues to mature, we hope to build on the foundation of Religion & Politics and to augment its work in offering the understanding gained through research and scholarship to the wider world. In an increasingly pluralistic nation, and in a time of interreligious warfare in many parts of the globe and tremendous civil unrest and division at home, it is more imperative than ever to promote deep understanding of different religious and political worldviews. Our goal in doing so is to have a tangible public impact on some of the most pressing issues of our time. We are open to new ideas for expanding the reach of the journal as a trusted source offering innovative, provocative, and thoughtful programs that draw presenters, audience members, and readers who represent a broad range of life experiences, opinions, and perspectives and who are willing to engage those who might challenge their own worldview.
Amid our various staff transitions, I have decided to institute a short hiatus in the journal’s publication schedule while we determine next steps. We have every expectation that Religion & Politics will resume in late summer or early fall, and we will make that announcement at the appropriate time. I hope you will continue to keep informed of the many issues of religion and politics and look for us to join the conversation again soon at religionandpolitics.org!