Ray Waddle has been writing about belief and doubt, poetry and politics, spiritual connection and disconnection for three decades now. He is editor of Yale Divinity School’s award-winning Reflections journal, a publication that finds theological dimensions in current social issues. He is also a columnist on spiritual trends, author, husband, jazz acolyte, and fool for squash (the racquet sport, not the gourd). He teaches a writing seminar at Yale Divinity School during summer study term. He also leads retreats on poetry and theology.
His new book, Undistorted God (Abingdon Press), draws on his religious observations and encounters over the years to sort out what looks permanent and poetic about Christian belief now and what’s a destructive waste of time. The book focuses on the renewing power of experiences such as bread and wine, earth and sky, music and silence, the image of God, the elusive meaning of church, and the never-fading notion that “God is God and we are not.”
A native of Shreveport, LA, Ray has a journalism (B.A.) degree from the University of Oklahoma and a religious studies (M.A.) degree from Vanderbilt University.
In Nashville he worked 17 years as religion editor of The Tennessean, where he continues to write a regular column on belief and culture. He has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, Interpreter, Christian Century, Image Journal and many other places. He has written two other books, both for Upper Room Books: Against the Grain: Unconventional Wisdom from Ecclesiastes (2005) and A Turbulent Peace: The Psalms for Our Time (2003).