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Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber Paperback – September 27, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning journalist and author. Currently a columnist for Religion News Service and an editor for Sojourners in Washington, D.C., she is best known for her personal interview profiles of Barack Obama, Bono of U2, Elie Wiesel, Anne Rice, Studs Terkel, Annie Lennox and many other notables. She is the author of three critically acclaimed books and was the religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times from 2000-2010. She and her husband live in Laguna Beach, California, with their son.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Worthy Book Publishers (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936034778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936034772
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,871,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cathleen Falsani is Senior Editor of Religion Dispatches magazine based at the University of Southern California. An award-winning religion journalist, she is author of the critically acclaimed The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, BELIEBER: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber, and Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels (co-edited with Jennifer Grant).

A Connecticut native and granddaughter of Italian and Irish immigrants, Cathleen is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, Cathleen holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University as well as a master's degree in theological studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She also was a 2009 Divinity School Media Fellow at Duke University, a Gralla Fellow in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, and was the 1996 Stoody-West Fellow in Religious Journalism.

At Religion Dispatches (www.religiondispatches.org) Cathleen is overseeing a three-year reporting project called Remapping American Christianities. She was the religion writer and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times from 2000 to January 2010, and has been a longtime contributor and columnist for Religion News Service, Sojourners, and the Huffington Post. From August 2011 to December 2012, Cathleen was the Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners, where she ran its popular God's Politics blog. She also was a contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners magazine.

Most recently, Cathleen was the Faith & Values columnist for the Orange County Register (from February 2013 to January 2014, when her position was eliminated) where she covered the election and first year of Pope Francis' pontificate (traveling to Rome for his election), the post-AIDS-emergency rebirth in Zambia and Malawi, music, film, comedy, and faith (among many other things.)

For more than 15 years, as a reporter and columnist from 2000-2010 at the Chicago Sun-Times, and as a reporter, commentator, essayist and columnist for a number of other publications as well, Cathleen has covered her diverse "God beat" from locations as far afield as Vatican City, Vedic City, Ireland, Germany, the Caribbean, the West Wing, the Playboy Mansion and the dugout at Wrigley Field. She was honored as the 2005 James O. Supple Religion Writer of the Year by the Religion Newswriters Association, and has twice been a finalist for the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year award.

Cathleen began writing her popular weekly column on spirituality and popular culture for the Sun-Times in 2001, She wrote a regular column for Religion News Service for several years, ending in September 2011 when she took on a full-time role at, Sojourners Magazine. Cathleen has been a regular contributor to The Huffington Post since 2006.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, TIME, Rolling Stone, Christianity Today and Christian Century magazines, as well as the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, Kansas City Star, Madison Capital Times, The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, CNN.com and other publications in North America and Europe. She has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Oprah Winfrey's "Soul Series," National Public Radio's "The Story" and "Weekend Edition," BBC World Service, FoxNewsChannel, Moody Radio, WGN-Radio, NPR's "Day to Day," The Tavis Smiley Show (on PBS), and a host of other radio and television venues.

Chicago Magazine media critic Steve Rhodes has said Cathleen writes one of the city's "most compelling columns . . . despite her focus on a subject that often is handled with a deadly dullness." Of her column, Cathleen says she likes to try to "find God in the places some people say God isn't supposed to be," and that she defines both spirituality and popular culture quite broadly.

Cathleen is a sought-after public speaker having presented lectures and talks at colleges, universities, civic organizations, houses of worship and large faith-based conferences nationwide, including the Wild Goose Festival, the National Pastors Convention, the Catalyst Conference, the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Festival of Faith and Music, and the Festival of Faith and Writing, St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago, WomenChurch, Point Loma Nazarene University's Symposium by the Sea, Dominican University in Chicago, California State University in Sacramento, and a number of other universities, conferences, festivals, and houses of worship throughout the country.

She is also a writing coach, offering workshops for writers and creatives through IncubateSpirit.com. Cathleen is honored to serve as a member of the advisory board for ONE Moms, part of ONE Campaign, the global advocacy organization focused on extreme poverty and disease in Africa co-founded by Bono of U2.

Cathleen has been married to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Maurice Possley, since 1997. After 20 years in Chicago, in the summer of 2009, Cathleen moved with Maury and their son Vasco to Laguna Beach, California. Vasco, who was born in Malawi in Central Africa, became a permanent part of the Possley family on June 1, 2010 when his adoption was approved by the High Court of Malawi in Blantyre.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't usually read non-fiction, but Belieber! caught my eye because it is a biography and assessment of Justin Bieber, teenage superstar. It will probably not cover a lot of information that fans of Justin Bieber don't already know, as much of it is sourced from Justin's own autobiography, the movie, other interviews, his Facebook posts and his Tweets. However, for those of us who don't know every minute detail of the background and superstar life of this teen singing wonder, this book provides an interesting read with the added benefit of placing Justin's upbringing and actions in a clear Christian context. It also answers one of my questions - is this guy really a Christian? (He is. Bieber is quoted as saying "I'm a Christian. I believe in God. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins... I have a relationship with him... and really, he's the reason I'm here".)

Although Falsani was not able to interview Justin Bieber personally, nor any member of his close team of supporters, she has researched him thoroughly, including reading each of his thousands of Twitter and Facebook posts. As a true child of the age of social networking, Bieber tweets his millions of followers several times a day, unless his mother has confiscated his phone and laptop for bad behaviour!. Twitter and Facebook make it possible for his many fans to `know' Justin in a way that was inconceivable a few short years ago. (It is testament to the power of social marketing that this book doesn't solicit Amazon reviews or star ratings. Instead, it asks you to `like' the book so it is shared with all your Facebook friends, or tweet it. If you don't understand Facebook or Twitter, ask the closest teenager.)

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As a 70 year old grandfather, I am probably one of Justin Bieber's oldest fans. My granddaughter recently gave me a Bieber tooth brush. I am fascinated by this talented kid and end up reading or seeing everything related to Justin - I loved "Never Say Never."

As a non-believer myself, I would have expected that something written by a religion editor and rather fundamentalist author to be the last thing I could stand reading. Yet this book, "Belieber: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber" is really a well researched, well written, and from what I can tell accurate telling of the spiritual side of Justin Bieber. It helps explain the singer's more than occasional thanking of God, his intense charity work, and actually his goodness as a person. Justin is one of those rare individuals who actually practices what he preaches. He is genuine to the core and very human - he makes mistakes and is quick to apologize and even uses his mistakes as a gentle lesson to his young followers.

My favorite example of this is his famously giving the finger to a bunch of relentless paparazzi. Both his flipping the bird and his subsequent apology were completely real and his using the incident to talk about the dangers of acting in anger, pure genius.

This book gives you a clear feel for the origins of all this, his mother's journey, and how Justin has come to be surrounded by the incredible people that comprise Team Bieber. It is well worth reading.
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As a clinical psychologist (...), who is a Christian and also the parent of a tweener and a school age child, I was really interested to read Cathleen Falsani's book on Justin Bieber's faith, fame, and heart. To be honest, I am familiar with all of Cathleen's work and have really enjoyed her style and approach to the subject matter she chooses. But Justin Bieber and his faith? Seriously? I was skeptical. Ok, I wasn't really expecting much of anything and the main reason I read it was curiosity. How she was going to pull this off? I just had to see.
A chapter into the book I realized how wrong I was. Cathleen, even without the benefit of talking directly to the child star, provides a reporter's eye for assimilating a massive amount of detail into a coherent whole. A whole, that I must say, is most impressive. Specifically, what is most impressive is the character of this young man. I was absolutely shocked at the depth of his relationships with his mom, his grandparents, his old friends, and the assimilated "Team Bieber." At the risk of sounding judgmental, one doesn't have to look too far into the Hollywood, or Disney, machine to become discouraged with the "role models" that are being offered to our children. After reading this book, I believe that Justin Bieber is not only a good role model, but a quality person. If you think that I'm being duped, read the book for yourself. Go ahead. I dare you. You just might become a Belieber.
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Format: Paperback
Superstar Justin Bieber is a role model for millions of teens around the world. He stands out as "different" in a culture of high-level performers shying away from revealing their personal religious beliefs. According to Cathleen Falsani, author of this comprehensive volume on "everything Bieber," he makes it OK for millions of teens to say "I believe in Jesus."

Well researched and wittily written, with personal emotional verve, Belieber! is packed with fan notes, Christian understanding, and practical suggestions for aiding ministries of peace and justice, following Bieber's example.

Cathleen Falsani is an apologist for Christian belief and practice in a skeptical world, and through several heart-felt chapters in her own voice, she also offers a primer on prayer, the power of conversion, and the workings of Christian community.

What a story! Bieber's young life is already "the closest thing to a real-life Cinderella story" that any regular guy might want to experience in America.

Here is the guidebook for "Beliebing."

Isabel Anders is the author of Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom
and co-author with Diane Marquart Moore of the Father Malachi mystery Chant of Death Chant of Death
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