On Being Blog

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 06:06

What happens when we choose anger and hatred over vulnerability and love? A short video with a World War II veteran who tells a personal story about being confronted by the German enemy and the power of music.

Trent Gilliss Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 06:05

As MLK Day approaches, a bit of creative inspiration infuses his iconic "I Have a Dream..." speech. Watch this video remix and be inspired.

Lily Percy Friday, January 17, 2014 - 16:27

On Being gone hip-hop? Well, not really. But our closing credits gain a small bit of street cred with this behind-the-scenes look at crafting the show.

Lily Percy Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 16:26

Spike Jonze’s latest film is a contemplative meditation on how we connect with one another, and the role that technology plays in searching for that connection every time we turn on our electronic devices.

Megan Bender Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 09:20

The two sisters known as CocoRosie seek out comfort in the mysterious. Visually arresting, their music is full of wonder and absurdity — at once unnerving and familiar. Take a listen, it might surprise you.

Martin E. Marty Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 06:40

Few expressions of religion are as public and inescapable as buildings. Some photos of the best of the best of this year's religious architecture from Faith & Form.

Lily Percy Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 09:18

Nicole Holofcener's film is funny, raw, and intimate — and it does what very few films do: it gets women right.

Debra Dean Murphy Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 07:12

How do Christians find their place within the Christmas story? A religious scholar reflects on the necessary, urgent correspondence between two traditional Christmas narratives.

Monisha Bajaj Monday, December 23, 2013 - 16:49

How does a child of Indian immigrants — and a new mother — who isn't Christian celebrate the Christmas season in the U.S.? By taking it in and making it her own tradition.

Trent Gilliss Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 06:27

A simple phrase quoted at a rural elementary school has us contemplating its meanings.

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Latest Interviews

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.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.