On Being Blog

Peter Han Monday, April 14, 2014 - 05:24

In the debate between scientific fact and religious faith, the author wonders if we, as skeptical people living in an age of science, have the capability believing in myth. Or, do we prefer living in a meaningless world.

Shari Motro Friday, April 11, 2014 - 19:49

How does one leave home in peace? Shari Motro reflects on how we all can find our way back, using the abundant lessons of the relationship between Pharaoh and Moses in the Exodus story. On the other side of it all, forgiveness and gratitude resides.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 18:27

The eighth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on intelligent dissent.

Mariah Helgeson Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:52

Watch this TED talk with Andrew Solomon, who breaks the silence we share around depression and asks of us profound empathy for the vitality within the struggle.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:02

Parker Palmer encourages us to look with child-like imagination to better understand the world's mysteries.

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 22:21

The seventh of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on respecting eccentricity.

Trent Gilliss Monday, April 7, 2014 - 22:20

Our executive editor Trent Gilliss brings you his weekly column on articles worth reading, visuals worth seeing, music worth hearing. Including a remarkable story of curiosity and persistence, a mesmerizing rumination on Dante's Purgatorio, lessons to live by from Bertrand Russell, and some poetic twitterings with artist Dario Robleto.

Trent Gilliss Monday, April 7, 2014 - 18:01

The sixth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on the opinions of others.

Susan Cooke Kittredge Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 08:14

With the recent news about the universe's origins, why are we struck dumb with awe and the nature of magnificence? A guest commentary on our deepest impulses.

Trent Gilliss Friday, April 4, 2014 - 06:50

The fifth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on the authority of others.

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Latest Interviews

April 24, 2014

The idea of reciting an unchanging creed sounds suspicious to modern ears. But the late, great historian Jaroslav Pelikan illuminated ancient tradition in order to enliven faith in the present and the future. He insisted that strong statements of belief will be necessary if pluralism in the 21st century is to thrive. We take in his moving, provocative perspective on our enduring need for creeds.

April 17, 2014

"The soul is contained in the voice."

StoryCorps founder David Isay and Krista Tippett have an intimate conversation about their shared love of listening — and the importance of creating spaces to tell our stories to each other. For him, the spaces where two people ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask of each other are sacred. Listening, he’s learned, is an act of love. Eliciting and capturing our stories is a way of insisting that every life matters.

April 10, 2014

With a master of midrash as our guide, we walk through the Exodus story at the heart of Passover. It's not the simple narrative you've watched at the movies or learned in Sunday school. Neither Moses or Pharaoh, nor the oppressed Israelites or even God, are as they seem. As Avivah Zornberg reveals, Exodus is a cargo of hidden stories — telling the messy, strange, redemptive truth of us as we are, and life as it is.

April 3, 2014

An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.

March 27, 2014

"Your staying alive means so much more than you really know or that anyone is aware of at this moment."

Philosopher, historian, and poet Jennifer Michael Hecht has traced how Western civilization has at times demonized those who commit suicide, at times celebrated it as a moral freedom. She proposes a reframed cultural conversation, based not on morality or rights but on our essential need for each other.

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