Lisa Miller is the religion editor for Newsweek. She is the recipient of numerous journalism prizes, including the 2009 Wilbur Award for Outstanding Magazine Article for her December 2008 cover story "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage." During the 2008 presidential campaign, she interviewed Barack Obama about his faith and covered the controversy over his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. She has written cover stories on subjects ranging from Islam in America to the new evangelicalism to the Mormonism of Mitt Romney. She has a regular column in Newsweek and on Newsweek.com, and in conjunction with the Washington Post, helped to launch the religion website "On Faith." Her first book is Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife (Harper). She speaks about heaven and religion in their many manifestations.
Is heaven a real place? Can you keep your body there? Are you recognizable as yourself? Do your relationships continue? Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians and scholars have dissected these questions - and others like them - for thousands of years, yet in today's world, most people prefer to leave them alone. By looking at profiles of real people and history, and analyzing conversations with scholars, Miller forces readers to confront their beliefs about the afterlife. A groundbreaking history of the hereafter, Heaven draws from both history and popular culture to reveal how past and present visions of heaven have evolved and how they inspire us to both good and evil.
Miller graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in English in 1984 before starting her career in journalism at the Harvard Business Review. In 1987, she moved to the New Yorker, and in 1992 became a senior editor at Self. From 1993-2000, Miller was a senior special writer at the Wall Street Journal, where she established the religion beat. She wrote front page articles on Pentecostalism, church endowments, and the nascent world of religion on the Internet. Miller came to Newsweek in 2000 as the magazine's society editor, overseeing all coverage in the areas of health, medicine, lifestyle, religion, education, and parenting. In 2006, she became religion editor, allowing her to write full time about the ways in which spirituality and religion intersect with politics and culture.
A native of New Haven, CT, Miller lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and daughter.
Praise for Heaven:
"With grace and insight, Lisa Miller has done a remarkable thing: she has written a wonderful book that weaves together contemporary reporting and historical scholarship with skill and energy. The result is a smart and accessible take on the ultimate question: what is heaven? Lisa's book is a good place to begin to find an answer."
- Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion
"A rare combination of journalism, memoir, and historical research by a self-professed skeptic who nonetheless believes in hope, this smart yet heartfelt book leads us into the center of one of the greatest conversations of all time. And Lisa Miller is the perfect conversation partner, regaling us with the wisdom (and folly) not only of the official theologies of the ancients but also of the everyday improvisations of ordinary Americans wrestling with the Big Questions forever swirling around this most audacious of hopes."
- Stephen Prothero, New York Times, best-selling author of American Jesus and Religious Literacy