Katherine Ozment is the author of Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked in publishing for more than twenty-five years, including as a senior editor at National Geographic, for which she once rode a donkey through the deserts of Israel and Jordan for several weeks on assignment. Her essays and articles have been widely published in such venues as National Geographic, The New York Times, and Spirituality & Health. Grace Without God was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Spirituality & Health and won the 2017 First Place Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Religion Books from the Religion News Association. Born in Arkansas, she has lived on both coasts and now resides with her husband and three children in Chicago.
Grace Without God tells the story of the recent and dramatic rise in religious disaffiliation across the United States. To tell this story, Ozment spent three years observing, researching, and writing about the “Nones,” the shorthand term for those who check “None of the Above” when asked their religious affiliation. In recent years, that group has grown to twenty-five percent of the U.S. adult population (and thirty-nine percent of Millennials). Grace Without God examines the forces, large and small, that have led so many people to leave religion, and then goes on to explore what they’re doing instead. Ozment’s is a hopeful, if complex, tale of the many ways secular Americans are creating new communities, rituals, and sources of meaning—and how these new approaches are changing the fabric of American society.
(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)