Jillian Cheney

Jillian Cheney is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Jillian Cheney

‘Holy Food’ explores American history and religion through food

By Jillian Cheney — September 21, 2023
(RNS) — 'Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat,' by Christina Ward, is both history book and cookbook, with over 75 recipes.

Horror audio drama ‘Quiet Part Loud’ explores fear and hatred in post-9/11 America

By Jillian Cheney — December 14, 2022
(RNS) — A new audio drama looks at anti-Muslim bias after 9/11 and how it only takes one person in power spewing vitriol to bring about violence.

Netflix’s ‘Sins of Our Mother’: A haunting study of a personal spiritual apocalypse

By Jillian Cheney — October 3, 2022
(RNS) — Where’s the line between spiritual awakening and a psychotic episode?

‘God’s Favorite Idiot’: Proof we need more religious comedies

By Jillian Cheney — June 28, 2022
(RNS) — The show is a reminder that not all stories with a religious message have to be somber or existential. Sometimes they can — and should be — as sweet and simple as pecan pie.

‘The Righteous Gemstones’ laughs with Christians, not at them

By Jillian Cheney — February 11, 2022
(RNS) — The Gemstones represent some truths about many filthy-rich televangelists and church leaders, priming them to be a perfect parable for Christianity, for those who have ears to hear.

Gay ‘Bachelor’ Colton Underwood says relationship with God is ‘best it’s ever been’

By Jillian Cheney — December 8, 2021
(RNS) — In the new Netflix show ‘Coming Out Colton,’ the former ‘Bachelor’ star looks to own his real identity and atone for past wrongs.

To vanquish lived trauma, Netflix’s ‘Procession’ puts victims in the director’s chair

By Jillian Cheney — November 23, 2021
(RNS) — The new documentary spotlights the practice of drama therapy, which uses role-playing to work through past trauma. 

Andy Warhol as a gay artist in conflict with his Catholic faith

By Jillian Cheney — November 19, 2021
(RNS) — A new show at the Brooklyn Museum presents the pop-art master as a man caught between his Catholic faith and his queer identity. 

New ‘Dune’ movie gives us a messiah for uncertain times

By Jillian Cheney — October 27, 2021
(RNS) — Legions of fans of Frank Herbert’s mystical 1965 sci-fi novel have been waiting for someone to get the screen version right. The HBO Max adaptation goes a long way, with a few nods to modern sensibilities.

In ‘Midnight Mass,’ there is ungodly horror and there are puritanical Christians

By Jillian Cheney — September 21, 2021
(RNS) — Watching the show's Muslim police chief try to convince parents to keep Bible classes out of public schools is like backing a losing sports team.

On Kanye West’s ‘Donda,’ faith is the message — or a metaphor

By Jillian Cheney — August 31, 2021
(RNS) — Critics have called the album unfocused and rambling, but fans are raving about the surprise release.

Meet the new Justin Bieber: Popstar, husband, holy hugger

By Jillian Cheney — September 29, 2020
(Religion Unplugged) — 'Holy', his new tune with Chance the Rapper, is a more mature effort than Bieber's previous spiritually inspired songs.
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