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© JUSTIN LANE

Questions for Carlene Bauer

Read Frykholm's review of Bauer's novel.

Your book tackles sophisticated theological themes. What is your own religious background?

I was raised evangelical in south Jersey. My mother became, in the late 1970s, what we now know as “born again.” My dad was Catholic. As a child, I thought Catholicism was something you did without thinking about it—an ethnicity rather than a faith. My dad was basically disinterested in religion, but he still wanted us to go to mass with him occasionally.

When I went to a Catholic college I saw that Catholicism was also a philosophy, a theology and a politics. I saw that you could be a Democrat and a Catholic by reading Dorothy Day. When I read Flannery O’Connor I saw that you could be an artist and a religious person. I started accruing more evidence that Catholicism was a whole way of life.

 

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