Neil deGrasse Tyson Interview
Trent Gilliss, online editor Neil deGrasse Tyson is a name that’s been bandied about the office in the last several weeks as a potential guest. While scanning RSS feeds, one keys in on keywords one may not have paid attention to previously. In this interview with The Humanist, the popular astrophysicist has some intriguing things to say about beliefs, education, and communication. When...
Ramadan Down Under
Colleen Scheck, Producer The Australian Broadcasting Company offers a lot of religion programming across multiple formats, so I like to keep an eye on what they’re doing. This week, the television program Compass is replaying a 2008 episode that followed two Muslim families during Ramadan. In light of our Revealing Ramadan project, I enjoyed watching this 30-minute video about how Muslims...
FB Friends Connect a Line from "The Novelist as...
Raymond Sigrist: ...At one point Ms. Mary Doria Russell quotes a character in her book as saying, “I don't need hell to scare me into behaving decently or heaven to bribe me.” ...I suspect this insight must be part of the wisdom which has been written into the collective subconcious mind of all of us. It is remarkably close to the words of the Islamic mystic Rabia: “O Lord if I worship you out of fear of hell, burn me in hell. If I worship you in the hope of paradise, forbid it to me.” Rabia (from Early Islamic Mysticism, Michael Sells, page 163)
Eilan Loveridge: In Norse mythology there is Ragnarok, Destruction of the Gods, where the ruling powers cannot prevent the triumph of evil. Knowing this, they defy the forces of destruction."Victory or defeat have nothing to do with right and wrong, and that even if the universe is controlled beyond redemption by hostile and evil forces, that is not enough to make a hero change sides. In a sense this Northern mythology asks more of people than Christianity does, for it offers them no heaven, no salvation, no reward for virtue except the sombre satisfaction of having done right" ~JRR Tolkien
It's the Journey and the Destination
Nancy Rosenbaum, Associate Producer Over the summer, I’ve been doing research for an upcoming program we’re producing on the spiritual legacy of Sitting Bull. I’ve been on board with Speaking of Faith for under a year and so far, and all the shows I’ve worked on have featured guests who are alive — people like novelist Mary Doria Russell and torture expert Darius Rejali...
Sitting Bull: Sharing Our Research
by Trent Gilliss, online editor In the past few years, we’ve produced shows for a biographical series, generously funded by the NEH, profiling well-known and lesser-known historical figures: Rumi, Niebuhr, Semple McPherson, Einstein, Heschel, Darwin. Many hours of research and speaking with scholars about these dynamic characters informs our radio and online productions. And each treatment...
Revealing Ramadan: Samar Jarrah - “Fasting...
Praying in Traffic
Marc Sanchez, associate producer If you’re the type of person who gets stressed out in traffic, then the hubcap prayer wheel might help bring some calm to your day. Their brief explanation of the Sanskrit decal: “With Om Mani Padme Hum revolving as you drive, you can help ease your karma while radiating wisdom and compassion into your life and into the world.” I...
The heart of Buddhist practice is to generate our own presence in such a way...– —from You Are Here, a new book on Buddhist thought and practice by Thich Nhat Hanh. Many of you are fans of Brother Thay, as evidenced by the large amount of response we receive every time we rebroadcast our program with him. He is on a U.S. teaching tour this fall. Colleen Scheck, Producer
Resting, and Remembering John O’Donohue, in Ireland by Krista Tippett, host I am back in the office after the first real extended period of rest I’ve had since we started producing SOF weekly six years ago. Esther Sternberg’s analogy of a “reboot” was completely apt. I had to shut down, in every way. My dear colleagues created the space in our collective work life...
Between Order and Mystery Andy Dayton, associate web producer The title of this slideshow, “The Myth of Order,” is in reference to a statement made by James Prosek, our guest for last week’s program: Nature really is chaotic. The real myth is the one that the Natural History Museum promotes in its collections and in its family trees and genealogies. The real myth is the myth of...
Some Light Summer Reading?
Colleen Scheck, Producer Whew! It’s hard to keep up with all the books that get sent to us for consideration. The table in our office fills up quickly each week, and since our territory is “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas” we get a little bit of everything. Some are good fits, others are too abstract; some come with thoughtful pitches about why the author would be a good...
"Britney's Conversion Diary" →
Trent Gilliss, online editor For those of you who haven’t gotten to that late July issue in the stack of New Yorkers on your coffee table or just gave up and unsubscribed like me, Krista just clued me in on this satirical commentary by Andy Borowitz. This series of mock diary entries about Britney’s conjectured conversion to Judaism experience all begin with “Shalom,...
As We Age, Do We Turn Our Backs on the Elderly?
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor Last week I retweeted an article about the booming industry of cosmetic surgery in Saudi Arabia, and whether it’s halal or haram. And then, last night, I watched a roast for the 76-year-old comedian Joan Rivers on Comedy Central. Almost all the comedians focused their acts on her many facial reconstructions and sundry plastic surgeries. Yes, the barbs were...