On Being Blog

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 05:30

To be human is to live with paradox and hold it in our hands. Parker Palmer offers some grounding advice on creating more spaces to do so gracefully — and a poem by May Sarton.

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 04:42

Our weekly roundup of all things curious and inspiring, including a night of communal singing with Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, a reflection on Barbara Ehrenreich's mysticism, a young preacher's remembrance of a legend, and a visualization of tikkun olam from artist Anselm Kiefer.

Martin E. Marty Monday, June 2, 2014 - 05:41

A new survey shows that Christians who take phone polls exaggerate their attendance more than those who take online polls. But, Martin Marty says, it's showing what we all have known for centuries.

Mariah Helgeson Sunday, June 1, 2014 - 06:44

Listen to this beautiful recitation of the Maasai creed from the late great scholar Jaroslav Pelikan. It's a treasure.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 16:31

Join us for communal singing as we learn from choral director and conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu as talks more about the unbeatable joy of singing together. Tesfa will also lead us in the art of communal music-making. If a gun-shy singer like me will attend, you have no reason to be scared.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 04:26

The best of the week — including night music from Minnesota loons, our Webby speech, a cheeky take on summer fashion, unexpected advice on trusting one's creative instincts, and a profound story from a late civil rights veteran.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 05:50

Life has its moments of melancholy. Parker Palmer reminds us to stop, take it all in, and write some poetry to recall life's aspirations.

Betty M. Bayer Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 05:27

In Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book — and first memoir — she asks the age-old questions at the center of human life. A self-described atheist, she leans into the word "mystical" and encourages more cosmic wandering.

Lucas Johnson Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 05:59

A young preacher remembers the legendary Vincent Harding and "his gift of sight to help us see ourselves and each other."

Trent Gilliss Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 09:26

Pairing this photo of a modernist architectural wonder with words from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, who instructs us to pursue our creative instincts.

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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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