Jewish Journal


December 8, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards’ faith in ... what?


When I heard on NPR yesterday morning that Elizabeth Edwards was in grave condition—this was before we knew she had already passed—her life was described as one characterized by, among other things, faith in the power of resilience and hope.

That sounds like faith in the human spirit, or some other new agey thing, which struck me as a bit odd. I know Edwards wrote a book called “Resilience,” but NPR made no mention of religion, and my understanding was that Elizabeth Edwards (and her estranged husband, John) were Methodists, though Elizabeth’s brand was on the very liberal theological side.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one left wondering. Bobby Ross, my colleague at GetReligion, from which I’m on a monthlong sabbatical, picked up on the same religion ghost. Bobby writes:

If you’re looking for reflections on God and religion in mainstream news coverage of Elizabeth Edwards’ death, the hunt may take a while.

Mentions here and there of faith, grace and religion punctuate major obituaries reviewed by your GetReligionistas. But in general, the reports stop short of meaty details on what Edwards believed and even if she had a particular religious affiliation.

Religion ghosts, anyone?

He has a lot of examples of the lack of religion in Edwards’ obituaries here.

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