On Being Blog

Mariah Helgeson Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 06:43

Musicians practice absolutely unmixed attention and listening of a different kind of in the melodies of whale songs. What would we hear if we were truly listening?

Erin Dunigan Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 05:12

On Ash Wednesday, a reminder from the natural world to slow down, meander rather than rush, and allow life to sink in.

Mariah Helgeson Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 05:37

On the anniversary of Mr. Rogers' passing, a conversation about unconditional love, community, and the gentle way we learned how to be human from a quiet man in a reliable sweater.

Lily Percy Friday, February 28, 2014 - 03:33

In a breakout year for black film, "12 Years a Slave" invited both dialogue and accolade. Yet films like "Fruitvale Station," about the life of a black man today, get passed over. A contemplation on race, Hollywood, and the conversations we aren't having.

Trent Gilliss Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 06:50

A creative illustration elevates Dorothy Day's words on "how to bring about a revolution of the heart" with a t-shirt design.

Emma M. Churchman Friday, February 21, 2014 - 05:42

A Quaker chaplain offers some candid insights on being a minister to trauma. In the midst of chaos and suffering, she writes, deep shame can transform itself into hope.

Dan Collison Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 05:47

How do we fulfill the dream that was bequeathed to us? By practicing the joyful art of doing life together across racial categories without fear.

Eliza Moore Friday, February 14, 2014 - 06:57

A musician serendipitously gets reacquainted with an old track while listening to physicist Brian Greene talk about our lack of free will.

Lily Percy Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 06:01

The daughter of an evangelical pastor finds comfort in the questions of an Orthodox rabbi — and his ability to change his mind on women's issues because of his relationship with his daughter.

Martin E. Marty Friday, February 7, 2014 - 07:19

Can something positive appear on a popular TV comedy show? An analysis of the "edgy Catholic Sunday School teacher and TV host as a catechist who can teach other catechists much."

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Latest Interviews

July 24, 2014

Sculptural artist Dario Robleto is famous for spinning and shaping unconventional materials — from dinosaur fossils to pulverized vintage records, from swamp root to cramp bark. He joins words and objects in a way that distills meaning at once social, poetic, and scientific. He reveals how objects can become meditations on love, war, and healing.

July 17, 2014

Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.