Francis Spufford is an award-winning author who describes himself as “a writer of non-fiction who is creeping up gradually on writing novels.” His Red Plenty was one of Dwight Garner’s New York Times 10 Favorite Books of 2012. Francis recently penned a short polemic about religion called Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (HarperCollins, 2013). The book represents an attempt to convey to readers of all persuasions what Christianity feels like from the inside: actual Christianity, rather than the conjectural caricature currently in circulation. It is an attempt to show that Christianity is recognizable, in ordinary human terms – made up of the shared emotions of ordinary adult life, rather than “taking place in some special and simple-minded zoo.” Spufford is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and teaches at Goldsmiths College in London. To peruse Mockingbird’s coverage of Francis’ work, click here.
Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his B. A. from Yale University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He was a professor at the University of Virginia from 1995 until 2011, when he joined the Stern School of Business. His research focuses on morality – its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation. This work got him involved with the field of positive psychology, in which he has been a leading researcher. He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations theory, and of the research site YourMorals.org. He won three teaching awards from the University of Virginia, and one from the governor of Virginia. His three TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times. (Those talks are on political psychology, on religion, and on the causes of America’s political polarization.) He was named a “top 100 global thinker” of 2012 by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the 65 “World Thinkers of 2013″ by Prospect. He is the author of more than 90 academic articles and two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. To peruse our coverage of Dr. Haidt’s work, click here.
Born in Kampala, Uganda, and raised in East and West Africa, and a boarding school in the New Forest, Sally Lloyd-Jones is a children’s book writer who moved to the United States in 1989. She worked in children’s book publishing for several years before leaving in 2000 to write full-time. She has authored numerous books, including the critically acclaimed New York Times Bestseller, How to Be a Baby . . . by Me, the Big Sister as well as Christianity Today’s Children’s Bible Storybook of Choice: The Jesus Storybook Bible. Of the storybook she says, “I wrote this book so children could know that God loves them—with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.” Sally lives in Manhattan. To peruse Mockingbird’s coverage of her work, click here.
Tim Kreider is an essayist and cartoonist. His most recent book is We Learn Nothing (Simon & Schuster). He has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, the Men’s Journal, nerve.com, The Comics Journal, and Film Quarterly. His cartoons have been collected in three books by Fantagraphics. His cartoon, “The Pain–When Will It End?” ran for twelve years in the Baltimore City Paper and other alternative weeklies and is archived at thepaincomics.com. Tim was born and educated in Baltimore, MD. He lives in New York City and an Undisclosed Location on the Chesapeake Bay. He had the same cat for nineteen years. To read some of our fairly exhaustive coverage of Tim’s work, click here.
Ashley Null, Episcopal priest and theologian, a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, visiting research fellow at Humboldt-Universitat in Berlin, and 2006 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, received his MDiv from Yale Divinity School and a PhD from Cambridge. His most recent book on Cranmer, Thomas Cranmer’s Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love was published by Oxford University Press. Ashley also has a long history as a chaplain to elite athletes, serving as a resident Protestant Chaplain in the Olympic Village during the Los Angeles, Athens, and London Games. Click here to read our coverage of Ashley’s work.