On Being Blog

Monday, June 16, 2008 - 12:21

Katherine Marshall, who has spent three decades in international development, sounds like a really interesting voice. Later this week, she’ll be co-moderating a panel in Washington with Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals. It’s a meeting of American Evangelicals and Moroccan Muslims who are both concerned about global warming. I introduced myself and she says she’s got tons of stories. I’d love to hear more about this Moroccan thing. Anyway, out to lunch now.


Monday, June 16, 2008 - 10:39

Spending the day here at the first day of the PUSH Conference in Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. I’m actually on the beat for our show idea on the ethics of international aid and development. PUSH, in the words of organizer Cecily Sommers, is about looking at the polarizing forces in our world, and what the space in between those poles offers (sounds familiar). PUSH is an ideas conference that brings together interesting thinkers who have inspiring ideas. Some of our past guests can be found here, like Eboo Patel and Anthea Butler. I think I saw Nathan Dungan in conversation with someone.

The space between those poles is what they’re calling The Fertile Delta, which is the theme of this year’s conference. This morning’s “pole” is economics. Some pretty inspiring stuff so far, and I hope to have some more thoughts later on in the day.


Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 12:44

These are just some ideas we’ll be researching this summer:

  • The ethics of international aid, the moral impulse behind it, and the relationship between wealthy and poor countries as a matter of policy
  • Music… The “music show” idea just won’t die, but we just can’t seem to find a way to pin down such a broad topic
  • The spiritual scene in China right now as its economy soars and it hosts the Olympics
  • Gay marriage, as Kate posted earlier
  • The relationship between humans and animals, the bonds that exist there
  • The ups and downs of the faith angle in the U.S. presidential campaign/marathon/extended director’s cut of Lord of the Rings

We’re digging up some great names and speakers, but don’t be shy about suggesting someone.


Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 09:02

Our consulting editor experiences Monk's "spiritual propulsion" at her live performance.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 15:05

What are your thoughts about how to cover this issue? We could use your suggestions.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 13:27

Will the transcendent possibilities of "the singularity" invade our spiritual domains too?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 06:37

Finding the line between doing good and crippling those one's trying to help — at home and abroad.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 06:19

What do you get when you search the term "heschel" — a surprising image and a moment of insight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 10:47


“An Ojibwe Language Society Calendar” (photo: Hanson Dates/flickr)

Working on an upcoming SOF show about endangered languages, I called a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University to get recordings of Ojibwe speakers for the radio program and website. His answering machine message was delivered first in Ojibwe and then in English. Then this week I called someone who works at an Ojibwe immersion school in Wisconsin, and his answering machine message was Ojibwe only.

It was a little disorienting but also inspiring to hear the language in this modern context, especially considering that Ojibwe is one of only a handful of Native American languages now spoken in the United States and Canada that is expected to survive beyond 2050.


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