Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and writer of popular history, spirituality, and memoir. He's written 25 books, seven of them about Francis of Assisi, including When Saint Francis Saved the Church, The Complete Francis of Assisi, and just published, The Enthusiast, a biography that Fr. Richard Rohr calls "An immense and important contribution to our understanding of the great saint." HBO has optioned the film rights to Jon's history, The Pope Who Quit. He has been interviewed on CBS News, WGN-TV, Fox News, and WTTW's Chicago Tonight. He appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about St. Patrick on March 17, 2013. He lectures frequently and often leads retreats.
His first 20 years were spent as an involved evangelical, growing up in Wheaton, Illinois (a story told in the memoir Born Again and Again); he then spent 22 years as an active Episcopalian (see Almost Catholic, among others); and on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi in 2009 he was received into the Catholic Church. Today, he is a practicing Catholic who also prays regularly with his wife, a rabbi. He loves the church, the synagogue, and other aspects of organized religion. He would never say that he's "spiritual but not religious."
In all of his writing, he's drawn to the ancient and medieval (see The Road to Assisi, and Inventing Hell). Many of his books have been selections of the History Book Club, Book-of-the-Month Club, and Quality Paperback Book Club. He's married, the father of four, and lives in Montpelier, Vermont. He also works in book publishing. After co-founding SkyLight Paths Publishing in the late '90s, he was editor in chief and publisher at Paraclete Press for many years; he is now executive editor for trade books at Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame, IN.
He's currently working on a popular history of St. Peter Faber, to be published next year by Loyola Press, and has recently finished researching and writing the biography of Phyllis Tickle. He'll be touring to talk about that book throughout February, March, and April of 2018. Jon continues to write a quarterly review article about books for America magazine, and also writes and reviews for The Tablet in London, and The Christian Century.