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Religion writer Ray Waddle appointed editor of Reflections

Ray Waddle, an award-winning journalist who was religion editor at The Tennessean in Nashville, TN for 17 years, has been named editor of Reflections, Yale Divinity School's journal of theological inquiry. Waddle, who has published two books and served as an adjunct member of the faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School from 2002-2006, succeeds Jamie Manson, who resigned in January.

As editor, Waddle is responsible for conceptualizing each issue, soliciting articles and art, editing, and seeing each issue through the production process. Reflections is published twice yearly, with each issue devoted to exploration of a particular theme.

"It's a delight to join the editorial team at Reflections and serve its mission," said Waddle. "We're in an era of contradictory public impulses -- more specialization of knowledge yet greater mass media oversimplification of issues. Reflections pleads for a third way -- the delivery of a theological dimension on today's big questions for an active reading public. I believe Reflections plays a needed role of bringing faith perspectives to public life, identifying issues for our readers and even stirring the national conversation."

Waddle, a resident of Bethel, CT, left his full-time position with The Tennessean in 2001 but continues to write a weekly column for the newspaper. Since leaving, he has written two books - Against the Grain: Unconventional Wisdom from Ecclesiastes (Upper Room Books, 2005) and A Turbulent Peace: The Psalms for Our Time (Upper Room Books, 2004).

His articles have been published by The New York Times, Christian Century, USA Today, Religion News Service, Sojourners.com, and Episcopal News Service, among others.

John Lindner, director of the department of external relations, said, "We are very fortunate to have a religion journalist of Ray's caliber carrying forward the excellent work that Jamie Manson began several years ago. Jamie not only brought Reflections back to life after it had ceased publication but also broadened the audience far beyond the YDS community. Ray's background in the world of religion journalism makes him especially well-suited to the task."

As an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Waddle taught an annual religion-writing seminar from 2002-06 and in spring 2006 took his religion-writing seminar inside the walls of Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville. He has lead retreats on writing and vocation at the Penuel Ridge Retreat Center near Nashville and at the Tennessee Writers' Alliance.

He is a regular contributor to Disciplines, a popular book of Christian meditations published by The Upper Room ; has written a study guide for the United Methodist Church on the Iraq war; and has written Lenten meditations for the United Methodist Church web site.

Among his writing awards are the Green Eyeshade Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the News Story of the Year award from United Press International in Tennessee, Specialist Reporting national awards from Gannett, and a regional Newswriting Award from Clergy and Laity Concerned.

His poetry has been published in Theology Today and Vanderbilt Review.

Waddle eared a B.A. in journalism in 1978 from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in religious studies from Vanderbilt University in 1981.

Joining Waddle on the Reflections publications committee, which works collaboratively with the editor, is Dean Harold Attridge; Director of External Relations John Lindner; Director of Communications and Publications Gus Spohn; and Frank Brown, assistant director, publications. In addition, one member of the faculty is chosen to serve on the committee as a guest editor for each issue, based on expertise and the subject under consideration.


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