On Being Blog

Trent Gilliss Friday, July 25, 2014 - 05:04

A confluence of sources show kindred minds meet for the first time. How Thoreau's quote went viral. Millennials don't do and sage advice from Maya Angelou.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 05:25

At our darkest hours, when light fails to find a home, a path of buttercups may lead us back. Parker Palmer offers up thoughts and a Willow Harth poem for many of us caught "underground."

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 08:12

Listen to this wide-ranging public discussion with Bill Antholis and Krista Tippett about the four ways that nations have tried to reconcile religion and religious pluralism in the modern era.

Trent Gilliss Friday, July 18, 2014 - 06:40

A worthy week filled with viral videos that will make you rethink your use of language and make you smile, and posts about a writer's prayer journal and a poem from Rumi that will inspire you.

Ken Chitwood Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 06:15

Is the Slenderman phenomenon symptomatic of secular soul-searching in a culture robbed of religion, or a byproduct of bad religion? Or perhaps, as the author suggests, the Internet creation is one in a long line of legends filling our craving for a life imbued with mystery.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 04:59

Parker Palmer reflects on "sharing our loves and doubts" as way into more generous conversations — all through the lens of a poem by Yehuda Amichai.

Mariah Helgeson Monday, July 14, 2014 - 06:02

What do nuns playing basketball in 1965 and a renowned Indian poet have in common? Joy!

Mariah Helgeson Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 06:52

Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal offers a rare glimpse into the life of a brilliant writer, colored by doubt and uncertainty, preoccupied with both magnificent grace and the mundane absurdity of everyday life.

Trent Gilliss Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 08:53

A reminder to pop up your head and look up at a scenic overview one races right by, a centering reflection on Ramadan that doesn't focus on fasting, and a popular post calling for an Interdependence Day.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 05:26

Parker Palmer celebrates the act of finding clarity in one's life through the poetry of Mary Oliver and listening to the trees.

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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.

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