Jon M. Sweeney

Author of Inventing Hell, The Pope Who Quit, The Enthusiast

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and writer of popular history. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is married, and the father of three children. He writes and reflects on religion, culture, and the spiritual life in books, articles, reviews, and other media, and he works in book publishing. He was the cofounder and editor-in-chief of SkyLight Paths Publishing in Vermont for many years. Since 2004 he has been the editor in chief at Paraclete Press.

For 20 years he was an involved evangelical (a story he told in the memoir "Born Again and Again"); he then spent 22 years as an active Episcopalian (see "Almost Catholic," among others); and in the fall of 2009 he was received into the Catholic Church. Today, he is a Catholic who also prays regularly with his wife, Rabbi Michal Woll, and they keep a Jewish home (see their memoir, "Mixed-Up Love: Relationships, Faith, and Religious Identity in the 21st Century").

Jon is best known for his 2012 medieval history, "The Pope Who Quit," a History Book Club selection that has been optioned by HBO. More recently, he's the author of "Inventing Hell" and "When Saint Francis Saved the Church." He has appeared on CBS Saturday Morning, WGN Chicago, Fox News, and PBS television's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.