Rob McGinley Myers, Associate Producer A few weeks ago, Mr. Rogers came up at one of our production meetings, and Krista mentioned that she would have loved to interview him if he were still alive. I remember reading somewhere that Fred Rogers’s original intention in creating a television show was to try to find a space in TV broadcasting for grace. Not a few days had passed when an episode...
It's Only Rock 'N' Roll
Kate Moos, Managing Producer Tom Stoppard’s new play “Rock-n-Roll” is getting mixed reviews here, but tickets are scarce, so I was thrilled when my friend Chris scored some for us. This is Stoppard’s chronicle of the intersection of pop culture and politics in then-Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution. Stoppard, I learned from the program notes, was born in the Czech...
Still Making Great Stories Trent Gilliss, Online Editor A couple of years ago, Bill Buzenberg, the former executive producer of SOF, embarked on a new endeavor as executive director of The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) in the District. Bill’s a veteran journalist and a newsman who believes in the power of investigative journalism. He’s the man responsible for helping Krista get SOF...
A Visit to Beliefnet
Kate Moos, Managing Producer One of our several stops today was Beliefnet, perhaps the largest website devoted to topics of religion and spirituality, where we experimented with some video shooting for one of their features. That’s a “stay tuned” for now, but we enjoyed working with their crew, and while there we stopped by the office of Steve Waldman, the co-founder and CEO, who...
Responding to the Feedback on "Inside Mormon...
Kate Moos, Managing Producer As Krista and I hop from meeting to meeting here in New York, we’re overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of listener response to our program on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re receiving very positive responses from non-Mormons and Mormons alike, from those who know and have studied the church as well as those for whom this was an...
Reading The New Yorker on the Way to New York
Krista Tippett, Host/Producer I am a “faithful” reader of The New Yorker - for all the kinds of writing and reporting they do. They’ve also by the way had some brilliant pieces on religion in recent years, as the whole field of journalism catches up with this subject, its importance in human life, and the intellectual and spiritual content that has been missed by traditional...
Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer I spent many years absorbed in the world of comic books. Then, after a while, I got sick of the futility of the superhero genre, where nothing of significance ever happened to these heroes. We know that Superman is invulnerable, but most other characters have “character shields” too. You know this from Star Trek (which I also can’t stand): Kirk,...
Thoughts on Retreat
Krista Tippett, Host/Producer I traveled this past weekend to the Guest House of St. John’s Abbey in central Minnesota. I’m about to head off on some travel for my book tour — part of me looks forward to this, part of me does not. It will be exciting and exhausting, and I have a speech to write. But really all that was an excuse to get back up to St. John’s, a place I visit...
Travel Guide Omission
Mitch Hanley, Senior Producer While on vacation here in Oaxaca I was paging through a Lonely Planet guide on Mexico, trying to see about religious services and what the opportunities are for travelers. I was specifically interested in attending a Pentecostal service as it is the fastest growing denomination in Latin America, and I wanted to see how a service might be different from one in the...
Religion and Art
Colleen Scheck, Producer We occasionally receive press releases and program suggestions from listeners highlighting the many ways people are exploring the relationship between religion and art. It’s hard to translate visual art to radio, but we’re always talking about other arts programs, especially music, and our website opens up other options for us to consider. One recent alert...
In production: Mormon faith, Islamic radicalism
Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer We’re currently wrapping up production on our upcoming show called Inside Mormon Faith, which will be available for download as of January 24. Our new shows are always available by the end of the day on Thursday (depending on how crazy it is here to get the show out the door). We’re also in the midst of editing a show in which Krista interviewed Ed...
War in Congo Kills 45,000 People Each Month →
Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer As reported by Chris McGreal in The Guardian: “A decade of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo is continuing to kill about 45,000 people each month - half of them small children - in the deadliest conflict since the second world war, according to a new survey.” I…I don’t know how to react to this. I just don’t know. I just...
The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.– —Eric Hoffer, an American social philosopher, quoted from “The Secret of Happiness” in The Economist Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
Google.org: "Don't Be Evil"
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor I’m confused. An immense amount of media coverage has been dedicated this past year to philanthropic organizations associated with high-power people and companies doing charitable work in a different way. Bill Clinton has argued that pharmaceutical companies can even make a fair margin off of cheap drugs to developing countries in Africa. Does corporate social...
15 Rounds with Seymour Hersh →
Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer Altmuslim’s Wajahat Ali tracks down a “surly” Seymour Hersh and manages to get a fair interview out of him. (Seymour Hersh is a highly regarded correspondent for The New Yorker and writes about the Middle East and US foreign policy.) The story behind the interview, and his attempts to track down Mr. Hersh, are more compelling even than what Mr....
Yes, Q-i-s Is a Word...and Boy, Does It Add Up!
Mitch Hanley, Senior Producer In a recent Sightings newsletter, the regular distribution from the Martin Marty Center at University of Chicago divinity school, Marty wrote about the religion statistics as reported by the World Christian Database. Among their findings are the following figures on Christians across the world. “Roman Catholics” claim 1,130,401,000…The 422,659,000...
SOF Playlist Track: Cepia, Hoarse Mitch Hanley,...
Pope Cancels, Crowd Applauds (but not why you... →
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor I’m guessing since we’re a public radio program a good number of you probably heard Sylvia Poggioli’s piece (I just love her style of reporting) on the brouhaha at Rome University. There’s a healthy debate going on within the Roman Catholic Church about the pope’s current proclamations and his former papers as Cardinal Ratzinger. But, I...
Confronting a Teenager's Doubts
Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer Cary Tennis, the smart, poetic, intelligent advice columnist for Salon, dispenses some of his usual brilliance to a teenager who seems to be outgrowing (subscription required, or free to view after ads) the faith and/or views of her parents. The danger of teaching a child only one absolute and inviolable set of rules is that when the child meets contradictions...
A List Apart
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor The List Universe assembles all types of “top 15” lists. Well, they’ve started a series on religious and atheist thinkers. I couldn’t help note the contrast in quotes from the great 13th-century philosopher Thomas Aquinas: “Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” and one of America’s great 20th-century writers, Ernest Hemingway:...
The Star Market →
Kate Moos, Managing Producer I love Marie Howe’s work, and her books What the Living Do and The Good Thief are favorites. Here’s a new poem I happened across in The New Yorker.
I’m conducting a tiny experiment: reading back-to-back biographies of Muhammad based on free books we got here at SoF: Tariq Ramadan’s In The Footsteps of the Prophet, and Karen Armstrong’s Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time. Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer
The Science of Morality
In the New York Times Magazine, renowned cognitive scientist Steven Pinker looks at the possible biological underpinnings to the human concept of morality. The wonderful public radio show Radio Lab also explored this issue a while back in one of their episodes. Shiraz Janjua, Associate Producer
"Great Tunes for a Lazy Saturday" →
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor I take a lot of pleasure in reading blogs and newsfeeds, especially when I receive a Google alert notifying me that something’s been posted about SOF. Not only do I get to see what they’re saying about the program or a particular show, I get to learn something more about our own content or be exposed to a new band or idea. With that, I’m giving a...
Polling Juggernauts and the Press →
Kate Moos, Managing Producer Some of us have been ranting and tearing our hair over the incredibly moronic and unhelpful horse race coverage of the presidential campaigns, especially leading up to the Iowa caucuses and then the New Hampshire primaries. While it’s gratifying to hear the pollsters and pundits be a little contrite in the wake of New Hampshire’s so-called...
The Buddha Project →
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor The online photography magazine Lens Culture has compiled a fabulous group of images (over 300 now) of the Buddha in the far reaches of Asia to the grounds of the Golden Bears in Berkeley. A fair number of photography, design, architectural magazines and blogs — the ones I read — usually focus on the aesthetic, the theory, the economics, and so on of an object....