By training, Karen Stollznow is an Australian linguist with a background in history and anthropology. In addition, she has spent years writing and talking about pseudoscience and the paranormal. All of this means that when she turns her attention to American foibles of belief, the results should be clear and devastating. This was true in her last book, Haunting America: The Truth Behind Some of America’s “Most Haunted” Places. It is just as true in her newest book, God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States.
Don’t worry, this isn’t just some foreigner poking fun at those daft Yanks. Dr. Stollznow has made the U.S. her home for many years, and her fondness shows through. Though she forthrightly points her fingers at fraud and other injuries to the followers of these beliefs, she demonstrates sympathy for the believers as well. From fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons to Scientologists who believe that the universe started with an alien war, she draws parallels between these “weird” religions and religions that are fully respectable in our current society. Besides, what religious groups didn’t start small and emerge from fringe beliefs?
This Sunday, Dr. Stollnow joins us to talk about her new book and some of the American religious practices that fall well outside the mainstream.
- Karen Stollznow’s website
- God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States on Amazon
- Read Dr. Stollznow’s on the Swift Blog
Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.