interior static banner

King University News :: Author of "Girl Meets God" to Speak at King College & Bristol Train Station

Lauren Winner, noted author of Girl Meets God, will speak at King College and the Bristol Train Station on Nov. 7, as part of the Buechner Institute's 2011-2012 Lecture Series.

The product of an Orthodox Jewish father and a Southern Baptist mother, in her book Girl Meets God, Winner shares her journey of discovery as she endeavors to reconcile the differing spiritual beliefs, and determine her own. In Girl Meets God Winner, having been told she is not truly Jewish, tells of her choice to convert to Orthodox Judaism at the end of high school, then to evangelical Christianity during her time in graduate school in England. Winner writes, Judaism and Christianity have something to do with each other. Judaism and Christianity make a path.

In a New York Times article, Winner explained herself this way: What draws me to a religion is the beliefs, the theologies, the books, the incantations, the recipes to get to God, and I like to imagine that they work in the abstract, that they are enough, that they exist, somewhere, pure and distinct from the people who enact them.

Lauren Winner has become one of those familiar voices in the world of academic scholarship related to issues of faith, said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King College. You run across Lauren on PBS and in the New York Times, in Books Culture and Publisher's Weekly. She is a reader, a writer, and a thinker. We are most pleased to have her spend a day with us at the Buechner Institute.

In anticipation of Lauren Winner's visit to campus, King's Office of Student Affairs has partnered with the Buechner Institute in sponsoring a community read initiative, said Matt Peltier, dean of students for King College. Our goal is for the entire campus to join in reading Girl Meets God and to engage in a campus-wide conversation about Winner's story... and our own stories.

Winner offers a compelling account of her own spiritual journey, said Peltier. Her writing is engaging and articulate and at the same time honest and raw. Students have most definitely connected with Lauren's journey of faith.

In a follow-up to Girl Meets God, Winner wrote, Mudhouse Sabbath, an insightful expedition into the merging of her newfound Christian faith with that of the traditions of the Jewish faith. Her book, Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, published in 2006, speaks to single Christians, and the difficulty, and importance, of chastity. Most recently, Winner penned A Cheerful Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia, published by Yale University Press.

In addition to her writings, Winner lectures widely on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish-Christian relations. She has appeared on PBS's Religion Ethics Newsweekly and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today. She is also former book editor for Beliefnet.

Winner, who serves as an assistant professor of Christian Spirituality for Duke Divinity School, received both her Bachelor of Arts and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. She also received her Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. During the 2007–2008 academic year, Winner was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, and at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University during 2010-2011 academic year.

Lauren Winner will present Girl Meets God at 10:30 a.m. in King's Memorial Chapel. At 7 p.m., that same evening at the Bristol Train Station Winner will discuss Lifelong Spirituality. Both events are open to the public and free to attend. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit