Blog Post Content

being_wordmark-3500

I am excited, and a little nervous, to share some big news. We are giving this adventure in conversation a new name. Starting September 16th, Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett is becoming Krista Tippett on Being.

This doesn’t signal a change in the nature or ethos of what we will continue to produce week after week. It is, rather, a more spacious container for what the program has become. Being makes room for the ways in which we have in fact opened up the concept of “speaking of faith.” It points at questions of “religion, meaning, ethics and ideas” at the heart of human life — not confined to Sunday mornings or Friday evenings, not on the sidelines of real life, but at the essence of who we are and how we live, individually and collectively.

We believe that Being is also a title with room to grow into, while Speaking of Faith has taken us as far in public media as it could. As much as we filled it with new meaning, the program’s title remained an obstacle for many programmers and listeners. The story we have heard again and again is that people have had to get over the title, or find themselves listening to the show by accident, before they were ready to give themselves over to our content. We have heard that, for religious and non-religious people alike, the title Speaking of Faith makes it hard to talk about the program with friends and family — to spread the word “virally,” as word spreads in our time.

This process of discernment that we might want and need to change the name of the program has been one of the most surprising learnings of the past year, which has been a period both of solidifying the program’s strengths and of continuing to experiment. The energy and possibilities it opens fill me with a new excitement for the next stage of this project and my passion for it.

Full disclosure: I did not have an immediate enthusiastic reaction to Being. But I have come to love the title. As I have settled into it, slept on it, practiced saying it in front of the vast array of shows we do, and realized all of its connotations, it feels like home. “Being” is an elemental, essential word. It was a catchword of the existentialism of the 20th century, and existentialism is making room for spiritual life in the 21st. It is more hospitable than the word “faith” for our non-Christian and non-religious listeners. It is, at the same time, an evocation of the primary biblical name of God. “I am who I am” can be better translated, I recall my teacher of Hebrew pointing out, as “I will be who I will be.”

As we were in the thick of this discernment, a mother wrote to us of how her teenage daughter has recently been drawn to our program. She commented on our blog, “It has been rewarding to watch her discover that unlike her subjects in school, religion cannot fit into a neat box. I’m sure she will tune in again as she continues to shape her own way of BEING in this world. This is certainly my hope.” The capitalization was hers. We take on our appeal to her, indeed our responsibility to her, as a great and edifying adventure — our next frontier of listening, learning, and public service.

Now I want to invite you, our listeners, to grow into this new name, this evolving identity, with us. Let us know how it sits with you, how you are hearing it, and what it means. And please come along on the next phase of this journey.


Leave a Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><span><div><img><!-->
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Embed content by wrapping a supported URL in [embed] … [/embed].

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

430 Comments

I think a better title would be: Searching for Meaning with KT. "Krista Tippett on Being" sounds like Krista Tippett is on top of something. Even "On Being with KT" because I think it describes the show better. We explore different people's search for meaning WITH Krista Tippett and others. I enjoy the show even though I am a conservative Christian. I find Krista to be one of the few liberal thinkers who is liberal and open minded even with conservatives that she has on her show. I enjoy learning about other's perspectives in a truly respectful manner. I will continue to listen even though I think the new title is quite weird and doesn't fit the program as well as even the old one did.

If you send it to mail@speakingoffaith.org, Krista and the production staff will see it.

I am saddened that a term that is meant to bring people together has become a wall to open and meaningful invitations to conversation. What a pity that intimacy of thought has become intimidating.

I will miss the term 'Faith.'

"Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence."
[Paul Davies, NYT, "Taking Science on Faith", 24.Nov.07]

I'll also miss the prefix 'Speaking of' just as much. The title 'Speaking of... with Krista Tippett' directed a certain focus away from host recognition which I thought worked well.
(...I would admit that the acronym for Speaking Of Being maybe no so good)

With the term 'Being' I can't help but hear a slight suggestion of new age wishy-washiness and abstraction. ...but that's my problem.


That being said...
Change is good... Change is necessary.
...might say that I have a strong 'faith' in the necessity for change... along with a good amount of faith in the direction of you, Krista, and the SOF team.

Much success on Being! (...and on becoming)
...I shall accompany the journey.

[Edit] Must apologize for the insensitive remark...
Failing to realize how powerful and helpful modern day new age beliefs could be, I choose to casually dismiss it based entirely on a few negative impressions. Too much of that going around... I apologize.

I loved your name, and for me, it challenged me to see how faith is central to the journey of knowledge and life itself. However, I think many of my friends would avoid listening to a show that acknowledged that?! So, I will continue listening as long as it doesn't change in content into something more left-brained to the exclusion of right-brained-ness.

I am disappointed with the new name and I have two comments. First, shifting the focus from the discussion to the host seems inappropriate. I never had any trouble remember Krista Tippett's name when it wasn't part of the title of the show. Second, hearing "Faith" discussed in this context of this show redefined the word for me. Changing the name of the show seems to be an uncharacteristic lowest-common-denominator approach. "Being" has a unappealing, new-agey sound that makes me just think, "Bleh".

Little bit sad to hear about the name change.. but trying to be open to it. I liked speaking of faith and I feel faith encompasses everything in life including no faith.. but I will continue to listen and echo the sentiments of the the other comment makers.. if the basic content and structure stays the same I will keep listening..

Speaking of Faith with "Krista Tippett" is becoming "Krista Tippett on Being."

Before: "From American Public Media, this is Speaking of Faith, public radio's conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas."

After: "From American Public Media, this is Krista Tippett on Being, public radio's conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas."

Before: "I'm Krista Tippett:, and this is Speaking of Faith from American Public Media..."

After: "I'm Krista Tippett:, and this is Krista Tippett on Being from American Public Media..." Or perhaps: "This is Krista Tippett on Being from American Public Media..."

The standard versions we've been hearing flow very nicely; after the change, not so nicely.

"I'm Krista Tippett:. My guest this hour is..." We hear Krista's name constantly during these programs - the thread of constancy is there, and without being at all obnoxious. Putting her name at the beginning of the program name might seem to many to be flagrant self-promotionalism, especially shortly after the publication of her first book. Krista may very well not have such an intention, but perceptions will be created in spite of her intentions. I greatly appreciate what Krista has done to bring the topics she includes to the attention of so many who are, indeed, searching for meaning in life, and I think the name of her program is very important.

I have always felt that "Faith" wasn't the best word to use, although it certainly has great value and has caught the attention of and spoken to many listeners. But it is also too limiting. Some choose to limit its meaning to the realm of religion or spirituality, although it can just as easily include faith in science, or in one's self and in humanity, or in life. It is also often equated with "belief" even though those terms do not necessarily have the same meaning. In spite of all it can mean, though, "Faith" doesn't really embrace everything that Krista's program has come to include.

"Being" is a great word and I use it a lot myself, but as a stand alone word in the title of this program it just doesn't have the power needed to get the attention of a broad audience. Being what? "Being" needs much more context to help most people relate to it in any way other than our ordinary usage of the word. Yes, the program will give it context, but that presumes people will already have been attracted to listening - yet it's the title that needs to do much of the attracting.

I suggest using "Our Search for Meaning with Krista Tippett" - which will often be shortened to "Our Search for Meaning." "Our" is inviting and will include all of us - those of us who already listen and those who are potential listeners. And the "Search for Meaning" is a pervasive and perennial theme that most people can relate to on any of a variety of levels, whether mundane, historical, scientific, philosophical, religious or spiritual.

Please consider: "From American Public Media, this is Our Search for Meaning with Krista Tippett, public radio's conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas." "I'm Krista Tippett:, and this is Our Search for Meaning from American Public Media..." "My guest today joins us on Our Search for Meaning..." "Stay with us on Our Search for Meaning." How could anyone resist listening?

If a change is unavoidable, "Our Search for Meaning" works better than "Being". But I still prefer "Speaking of Faith", for reasons I've stated in other posts.

SOF always has been about what people believe. How about "Being is Believing with Krista Tippett"? "Being" is a dog that won't hunt. Amen (if you'll pardon the expression) to all adverse comments above. How about "Being & Believing"? Personal story: I would not have found this program online some years ago had the word "faith" not been in its title. I've been a regular podcast listener for years, and it's been a refreshing part of my intellectual life. (I've become a Janna Levin fan, for example.) Frankly, I'm in the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it camp. SOF ain't broke. Don't fix it; or, if you must, make it anything but the warm beer of "Being."

I like your idea of "Being & Believing with KT". It retains the faith aspect many are fond of but also invites the non-believing existentialists like myself. I'm an atheist but I can appreciate many of the discussions on the show. I've always found the SOF title accurate but a little off-putting. I'm aware many believers to find atheists to be condescending elitists, but being the only non-believer in a Catholic family I can assure that those feelings work in reverse as well. "Being & Believing" is a name change that might bridge that gap a bit.

I have several thoughts:

First is that Krista's description is reasoned, balanced and honest; the very things that fans for SoF love about her and the program.

Second, is that it is difficult not to be skeptical about the motives for the change. Since the ethos and content of the show won't change, this cosmetic name change highlights that the removal of the word "faith" is intentional and perhaps for dubious reasons. While the desire to provide a larger container for discussion is noble, the removal of "faith" from the title leaves a weird aftertaste. Because it's National "Public" Radio, the excision of faith from the title seems to imply that faith is not part of the public or that it shouldn't be. The fact that some in the NPR world would find either a show with faith in the title or a show about faith offensive or even humorous speaks to a larger bigotry and arrogance. Despite protests to the contrary, I am under no illusion that NPR is without liberal influence, my fear is that this decision confirms such. Changing the title because it makes some people uncomfortable could be perceived as a challenge of credibility while changing the title so that more markets will pick up the show seems speak to a weakness of integrity. I realize that it's only a name, but I warn that appealing to the lowest common denominator never results in creativity or quality. I think the dissonance that the term "faith" initially brings only serves to highlight the excellence and purity of the show.

Finally, the new name...well, it's just not good. It reeks of design by committee and compromise. While many people work on the show, it is Krista's presence that makes it so appealing. So I think that she does deserve to have her name in the title. I like the term ''being," but it is so homogeneously new-agey, I can't shake the feeling like I am being served "new Coke!" However, with that said, I'm sure Krista will be able to say the new title with her trademark tenderness and nubile naivete so that the listening public will drink it down greedily.

I don't know if my criticisms reveal it or not, but I'm a big fan of the show and owe it a debt of gratitude for introducing me to the late John O'Donohue. I will continue to listen but like the executives of the Coca Cola company on live TV; when the new title is spoken, I won't be able to avoid the 'big blink' of New Coke.

I agree with your thinking almost totally ( as you will no doubt be appalled by my near-oxymoron). I wish only that you had attributed the change of title to a misunderstanding of the liberal promoted as political correctness. For true liberalism is generous, free, accepting rather than tolerant, and in many cases spiritual. I myself claim to be far left politically and socially and at the same time an orthodox Luke 4 Christian. As you are grateful to Krista for introducing you to John Donahue, I shall always be thankful for meeting Mary Doria Russell on "Speaking of Faith.".

"Krista Tippett on Being" puts emphasis on the host rather than the topics. Here's another vote for CarlMN's "Our Search for Meaning with Krista Tippett" -- though the ship appears to have sailed already.

I'm totally OK with moving on from Faith to Being. Now when I refer people to the program, I don't have to explain that it goes way beyond religion.

It is unfortunate that public perception has damaged another great word but faith does have dubious connotations for many. I am sure you will continue to do the great job you have been in leading the discussion. Might I suggest that a slight change in emphasis is interesting? As in "I am Krista Tippet and this is On Being"?

I am very supportive of the change. Speaking of Faith is so much more than the name has suggested... and I personally have seen people disregard my recommendations to listen to the program when they hear the name.

Thank you for continuing to challenge my way of thinking with such great content.

Good luck with the new name!

Krista I love the new name! I also have experienced while speaking with friends and/or family about the wonderful insights I have come to learned from the many, many, programs I have listed to that the title Speaking of Faith is a barrier to people. I am a faithful listener and I will continue to down-load the podcasts for my own “indulgement” regardless of the name change. The content and the quality of the programs are a gift to humanity during modern times. Due to a busy work schedule; technology allows me to listen to the programs whenever I want at my own pace. For me is a precious treasure awaiting for me on my I-Pod , I so much look forward to the times I get to listen, learn and most importantly reflect. Thank you and Blessings!

I don't care for the new name. It's vague, without context, no clear place to live that spans our cultural conversation. I'd much prefer a name that speaks to the soul, even if the mind doesn't recognize it beyond that it just feels right. "Krista Tippett on Being" does not stir me in that way, but neither did "Speaking of Faith," although the program itself has many times. I wonder if you looked back over past programs and tried out the phrases of those moments when grace spoke unveiled through Krista or her guest.

"Speaking of Faith" has had the uneasy connotations that Krista and people in the replies have mentioned among people I've recruited to the program, too. So I understand the wish for a change. I don't have a suggestion at the moment myself, but if I had a vote, I'd lobby for a pause until the right phrase emerges or descends. Of the one's I read here in the comments, I like CarlMN's suggestions best.
But whatever the name, I'll continue to listen with joy to these delightful and provoking conversations. Thank you so much for this light in the middle of so much cultural and media distraction.

Every listener has a 'faith' to one degree or another. Many find it difficult to relate to any label, to "religion" or a name, so soiled have the names of some traditions become by the acts of very careless people who claim membership of, or allegiance to them. Yet no one can remove or take away from themselves, the instinctive spirituality, awe, wonder, and resulting sense of faith they feel, for example when looking at the galaxies of stars in the night sky. If the phrase 'Krista Tippett on Being' allows entry to a wider audience so be it. It is clearly Krista's show to lead and to develop as she feels is right. Those that know the show by its older title will still hear the same conversations about religion, meaning, ethics, faith, traditions, and ideas... and the journey will still be the focus.

I can understand the urge to move away from "faith" -- I too have tried to get others interested in the program only to run into their nervousness over the connotations of "faith." But there had to be a better option than "Krista Tippett on Being." I immediately start thinking of various endings, such as "Krista Tippett on Being a Sea Slug" or "Krista Tippett on Being Bored." Here's another, probably too late, vote for "Our Search for Meaning, with Krista Tippett," or "Searching for Meaning, with Krista Tippett." As long as the content doesn't change, I will continue to be a fan of the show by any name, but I can't see myself being much more successful in promoting the show to friends with the new name.

My thoughts...

I love this show! I am fine with the change although I would have left it alone!

I liked having the word Faith in the title, and felt comfortable sharing it with others (which I often do).

The word Being immediately took me to Heidegger.

For me, much of the beauty of the show is in the way that Krista connects with the people she interviews, however, I am not sure about the wisdom of including the host name in a show because at some stage in the future you might want others to host, or perform some of the interviews.

Keep up the good work, and thank you.

Ronnie

What I don't see in these comments is Shakespeare's question about what is in a name? I once worked for Bell Labs. Due to a court decision, in a 3 year period starting in 1981, the part I worked for was renamed American Bell & later AT&T Information Systems. Two years afterwards, it was AT&T Bell Labs. Subsequent buyouts & catastrophes have changed the company beyond recognition, but every so often, I see a truck rolling by with some name on it -- I can no longer remember what (even though I'm a stockholder) -- what I notice is the slogan: "powered by Bell Labs technology." What the company was named originally is what people remember -- all these new names are just marketing & legalistic mumbo jumbo. These experiences suggest to me that once an institution starts changing its name, it doesn't stop, yet people remember the original name & for all the literally millions (which public radio doesn't have) spent on marketing, they still have to trot out "Bell Labs" to impress people. I just hope that your correspondence is sufficiently electronic that you're not going to kill a lot of trees for new stationery, billing forms, business cards, etc.

A different way of thinking about it is why don't some number of women change their names when they marry (& why do men so rarely). Yes, feminism allowed us to feel that we had the choice, but why do women choose not to? When I got married, I didn't doubt that I was entering a new phase of my life & that I would change greatly as a result, but I still felt that there was some consistent part of me, associated with my name, that wasn't going to be obliterated by my future. Some of that consistent part of me came from my past -- from my family -- the source of my original name. It might have made sense to change if I had hated my parents or something about what I was, but I believe I am at peace with my past -- aren't you? Whatever I am or will be, I don't have such a problem with who I was that I want to eradicate that identity. 26 years later, I continue to feel that way. Moreover, if anything changes a person, surely parenthood changes us more than spousehood -- why does no one propose changing one's name when we become parents? Maturation milestones are rarely the drivers of name changes. What's interesting is that we become name givers to others then -- we don't change our identities. So for these reasons I don't associate name changing with maturity or wisdom -- it seems rather superficial.

Change your name if you want -- in the final analysis, it's your & APM's decision & it has to be okay with your sponsors, but I suspect I (& many others) will always think of you as SOF or at least as the show that used to be SOF. I also think the kinds of people who really can't listen to a show with "faith" in the title are going to turn off any of those shows that relate to a named faith. So many of your individual shows do talk about a particular religion or faith community -- "Being" might be perceived as a kind of way of faking people out. Also, there are potential new listeners who will be turned off by the new age vagueness of "being." You bring an certain intellectual depth to your discussions that I rarely hear when I listen to people talk about "being." That word has its own issues in this context -- you're not going to escape negative connotations -- you're just choosing different ones.

My personal option is that changing the program's name from Speaking of Faith to Krista TIppett's on Being would be a mistake. First since your program is actually very interpersonal, pluralist, and conversational, using your host's personal name in my option restricts its breath to be a more monological topic. As for the topic itself Being or Faith. All religions, even philosophical perspective that are non-theist in any way can speak of faith with ease. Faith in so far as it means to lean into a perspective or religious tradition is not exclusive. Being on the other hand is quite philosophical it connotes anything from Tillich to Heidegger to Buddhism but tends to leave the breadth of monotheist faiths out. Leaning into Being or depending on God may from a Perennial perspective be accurate but only those esoterically trained are really capable of the translation.

I will listen to and support your program no matter what the name is because of the quality of your interviews but I really do not like the name change.

My personal opinion is that changing the program's name from Speaking of Faith to Krista TIppett's on Being would be a mistake. First since your program is actually very interpersonal, pluralist, and conversational, using your host's personal name in my option restricts its breath to be a more monological topic. As for the topic itself Being or Faith. All religions, even philosophical perspective that are non-theist in any way can speak of faith with ease. Faith in so far as it means to lean into a perspective or religious tradition is not exclusive. Being on the other hand is quite philosophical it connotes anything from Tillich to Heidegger to Buddhism but tends to leave the breadth of monotheist faiths out. Leaning into Being or depending on God may from a Perennial perspective be accurate but only those esoterically trained are really capable of the translation.

I will listen to and support your program no matter what the name is because of the quality of your interviews but I really do not like the name change.

Just today at lunch I was discussing the notion of how our society in general has misplaced the sacred places and things of our lives and our history, so that now the idea of sacredness is itself treated with irreverance and even contempt. Whatever form your personal morality, spirituality, philosophy of life may take, the important thing is that you have it and you nurture it and you SHARE it. Otherwise you cannot possibly live a real life. As Wendell Berry says, "There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places."
Changing your name, and focusing on the concept of being, is like the polishing of a mirror, the searching we all do to refine our view and continue on the search of who we really are. Everyday my concept of who I am and what I am searching for changes and grows. So, even on my deathbed, I will not fully understand who I am, who we are. That is an exciting, and fulfilling thing. I would never want to be an endpoint. And I most definitely wouldn't want you to be one either. Thank you for enriching my life.

I like the name change. I agree it encapsulates far better what you are doing and makes the show open and inviting to those for whom "faith" is a difficult word to get around. I love that your show draws teenagers. I hope many will find it and find new ways and directions of thinking abut "being" in our world today.

yep, seems like it'll take a little getting used to. But I like it. And I applaud you all for keeping it fluid and pushing to see what is coming next.

Perhaps "Becoming" would have been a better choice than "Being." SoF has never been about freezing and endorsing whatever you happen just now to be. Guests on the show are at their most fascinating as they discuss how they came to wherever they are, and at their most persuasive as they make it clear why we might take up some of their ideas. Krista's own story, as she has shared, draws us in to both struggle and search.

For this reason, I'm not at all convinced that the awkwardness around the word "faith" is a thing to avoid. Of course it's awkward to reconsider your unexamined assumptions! But SoF has constantly, gently led us into that wider world. The awkwardness is the first step in the evolution.

But the die is cast, the deal is done, the name is new ... and it's not entirely misdirected. I see the assurances, by Krista and Kate and Trent, that the editorial policy will not change. That would be good! But I've come to know you all well enough to know you know the self-deceptive power of subtle revisionings. I hope you find ways to guard against it.

It suddenly strikes me that the title of this blog entry, "From Faith to Being," is the best possible summary!

I thought of that too, as I listened to Krista tell of the proposed name change. When she referred to "From Faith to Being", I first thought that was to be the new name. When I went to read her post, I realized that was only the headline for the announcement. I'd agree with you, but I still prefer "Speaking of Faith", for it's promise of dialogue and exploration. How many wonderful conversations begin with "Speaking of..." springboard on to intriguing, thoughtful dialogues about life, even in the ordinary course of interacting with our friends and neighbors? Listening to "Speaking of Faith, I feel part of that ongoing conversation about life.

I have seen that you were stretching "faith" in many of the programs lately, but I regret that, with the new title, we are losing the immediate implication of the spiritual. I would prefer the old name and the continued enlargement of *faith.* I suppose that the new name is a fait accompli. Well, anyway, keep the faith, my sister.

Speaking of Faith is a title that conveys CONVERSATION. That, it seems to me, is somewhat lost in this new title. Listening and speaking (or expressing in whatever way - art, yoga, service, etct) are essential to the relationality necessary for humans to do more than simply exist together, but to THRIVE in peace. From a philosophical or theological perspective, this change seems like a total faliure. The title Being is about existence, not relationality. That is where the loss is. We can not find our identity other than in relationship to each other.

Thomas Merton in his book New Seeds of Contemplation, ends a chapter entitled Union and Division with the following two powerful sentences:
"I must look for my identity, somehow, not only in God but in other men. I will never be able to find myself if I isolate myself from the rest of mankind as if I were a different kind of being."

Words matter, Krista, as you no doubt know. ( I am not at all worried about the editorial choosing, and/or content of the show.) Being, as the new title does not convey a 'broadening' of the horizon and scope of the conversation. It just makes it vague. Perhaps disgustingly so. [I-AM-WHO-AM is unspeakable, perhaps for this reason!} You have lost the precision of language, a percision that is really needed to truly call attention to the greater mysteries. Is that not what your show is about? That is a shame and a sadness.

Who was the marketing genius who told you Faith has only the connotation 'faith in God'?admittedly the Judeo-Christian essential underpinning. Is that really an obstacle to having a meaningful conversation? So, are you assuming that 'Faith' has no humanism connotations? like faith in man, faith in creativity, faith in each other, faith in reason, faith in nature?

Maybe it is. Maybe, as a marketing ploy it needed to be done. Maybe not. We will see. But I do not believe that Speaking of Faith has taken you, in public media, as far as it can go. Far more than what you see and know is possible. Now, saddly, we will not see it.

Money matters. Decisions are made based on it. In what economy is integrity freely traded? Perhaps, some might say sardonically, the one we are in now...and half-jokingly evade the seriousness and intent of the pointed question. Krista, I have faith in you. I have faith in the integrity and continued depth and breath of this show with you and your crew at the helm, no matter the title.

Thank you for all you do. Peace to your heart(s).

Gregory

I am glad you wanted to change the name of the show. The addendum to the old title was a little unwieldy. But I have to agree with many of the other comments, it seems vague and leaves out the spiritual and conversational aspects of the show - and that's speaking as an agnostic. The exploration of spirituality is my favorite part of the show.

I love the show and hope that your approach to intelligently discussing issues of faith, ultimate meanings, life, science, social concern, growth, beliefs, and all other topics remains unchanged.

I am not terribly attached to the old name, as I think you go well beyond what the broader audience would typically associate with the word "faith." I do like whatever name you choose first and the host second. The topic and the guests are central; Krista correctly brings them to the forefront and asks the questions we'd like to hear answered.

I understand the desire for a new name. I probably would have preferred a different outcome, such as "The Examined Life with Krista Tippett" or "Seeking Meaning with Krista Tippett." But you all have earned my "faith" so I'll follow along.

We are on the same wavelength, Steve. "The Examined Life" was on the short list for quite some time, until we found it was trademarked and the title of a new reality show!

Your old title worked very well for me. I understood the word "faith" in the title to refer to any faith and many faiths, not just mine. I didn't like that you were changing the title but, now that I understand that the "faith" word was an obstacle for many would-be listeners, you have my blessing to change it. However, worded as the new title is, it sounds as if Krista will be expounding every week instead of highlighting different guests. I have no suggestion of how to word the title better, though.

SofF has always been about speaking with passion and creative engagement about those things which are of central importance but exceptionally difficult to talk about in our culture. Even the name itself challenged conventional categories and simplistic meanings about the boundaries of religion, belief, spirituality and ethics. Given the show's content, the name SoF was as much a challenge to Christians as non-Christians, believers as well as atheists. The name change feels a bit like you are caving in to the narrow categories of our culture, searching for the lowest common denominator that puts no one off. Disappointing.....

Add me to the list of those who are not wild about the name change. It feels decidedly philosophical in name and would do to those seeking "faith" what it does to those who struggle with the word. I believe that language creates reality, and there is theological power in naming things. And for me "being" is a basic philosophical term that precedes theological awareness. The name change seems like a de-evolutionary step (wow! a loaded term I didn't intend)... a step backward. I studied philosophy for four years in college and then went on to get a master's degree in theology. The vocabulary of philosophy gave me the foundation to discover become fluent in the language of faith.

I live in a world in which it is easier for me to be openly gay than it is to be openly Catholic. And when I send people to this web page, and I do so on a regular basis, I have to warn them that the title does not necessarily explain its content. But still they go and them come back to me with a lively discussion about their faith journeys.

Having the word faith in the title gives it an edge, and isn't that the role of a prophet in society, to prod and poke and make us uncomfortable? The show has prophetic consequences. "Being" feels like a concession. Your statement above makes sense, but I am always looking at the meaning of words. And it sounds like this is taking the easier path, instead of the path less travelled.

Stanley John, After reading your post, I feel that you make tangible points. Tangible to the point of questioning whether I still agree with my "thumbs up" response I gave to the announcement about the naming of SOF.

It does have a new age spin to it, but it is important to remember that even listener supported radio must consider listenership and appeal. Allowing for this economic truth, Krista seemed careful to point out that it is only now a change in title. In reality it is the content which has been evolving into something more, and possibly different, than the original concept of the show. I am only guessing.

I don't personally feel that, in the end, the naming of the show is as important as what one feels and thinks about after having listened to the conversation between Krista and her guest. Like you, I refer people to the show. I always describe the show as an amazingly provocative conversation of the human condition. Also, journalism and journalistic style unavailable anywhere else. It is unfortunate that the word, faith, has been so branded as formalized religion in the minds of many. Faith is equally, "belief in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." (Wikipedia)

As I have often grappled with understanding myself; Am I a gay man, or a man who happens to be gay? Either way, I am still me. The struggle is more with the semantics.

It is interesting that a name change draws so much passion from your listeners. I must ask to be counted among those who found great affinity with the name Speaking of Faith, in large part because the subject of your conversations went far beyond "being" to a search for meaning in that very being. I have found my own faith deepened by listening to a great host of people as they gave voice to that which has given their path in life, their being, greater meaning and purpose. Their journeys, most far different from mine in name, invariably echoed some part of the essence of my own faith, my own search for meaning and purpose that has developed as I have lived. Your programs have enriched my faith by sharing with me the stories of meaning that is at the very core of the human experience. Part of me despairs that we have lost the ability to speak of faith without needing to defend ourselves or at the very least seek not to offend others, essentially making speaking of faith culturally taboo...sigh...My hope is that the name change will not diminish the conversation.

Hello. Thanks for opening this up for discussion.

I love your show, and so I hate writing this:

The new name is terrible. And, in my truly humble view, it's terrible for many reasons. For example:

(1) It doesn't have the flare that SOF does--the new name isn't catchy and it's not nearly as marketable.

(2) As much as I love and appreciate Krista's work, I don't like her name attached to the title. In some way, and because language does shape reality, it brings this new unhealthy egotism to it: and an unhealthy ego is, ironically, antithetical to being!

You ought to heed all of this discontent and keep the name or try again. It might just signal more than change--it might signal the beginning of the end. I hope that that doesn't happen. This show is of profound value; it does so much good.

Peace,

Paul

how about "the wonder of being"?

or "the mystery of being"?

or "the adventure of being"?

or "the wonder, mystery, and adventure of being"?

hmmff...I going to miss the old name - I guess 'cause when I got turned onto this program I held it became very to dear to me. I'll give the new one a shot. A refreshing every so often doesn't have to be so bad anyhow.

I deplored the name of your show and avoided it at all costs. "Speaking of faith" is so sanctimonious and self-congratulatory - an inner circle of "godly" people. Let's hope the new name will herald new things.

At random, I have found this discussion ruminating in my mind. Perhaps I was a bit too reactionary in my first comment. For that I am sorry. In the event that it's helpful, I thought I'd post one last comment; it's actually a question, really:

What does this change say about your being at its core? How does it speak of your faith?

I genuinely hope that this is not part of what many of us people of faith are working against: the institutionalization/commercialization, and thus degradation, of faith. I won't presume to know.

Peace to you, these listeners, and this program,

Paul

Krista. It's inspired. I love it.

Speaking of Faith was a pretty catchy title, but I can appreciate it if someone thinks the "Faith" bit makes the show less accessible. Having said that, Krista Tippett on Being sounds like an SNL Parody of a New Age public Access Cable show. A bazillion other things come to mind:

“Tippett Talk,” “Talking with Tippett,” “Speaking, Hearing and Learning with KT,” “The Tippett Dialogues,” “Deep Dialogues,” “Perennial Dialogues,” “The Meaning Quest (w KT),” “Speaking of Meaning (w KT),” “Meaning Talk,” “Meaningful Talk,” “Listening for Meaning,” “Meaning and Morals,” “Meaning What We Say,” “Meaningful Matters,” “Meaning Matters,” “Hearing What Is,” “Saying What Is,” “Reaching for the Light,” “Meaning and Wisdom,” “Meaning Stories,” “Lighting the Way,” “The Meaning Compass,” “What Is With KT”…

You get the idea.

I agree completely with Paul Blankenship. The new name is, frankly, terrible. First, Krista is wonderful, but the show is not about her, it is about conversation, dialogue, discovery. The new name focuses far too much on the host, whereas it should focus on the subject. Secondly, Being is fine in the title, but why not, as one writer suggested, The Mystery of Being? Something that evokes wonder, for as it is the title is insipid and tone-deaf. I am also very dubious about giving in to the sort of thinking expressed by one writer, that Faith suggested something "sanctimonious." That is only the case if one does not understand the incredible depth, complexity and humility of the word. By avoiding the term, you're moving from accuracy to Why in the world would we want to allow extremists who abuse the word "faith" to dominate the discussion?
There are many different forms of faith; faith is openness and surrender to Ultimate Being--it is not adherence to a set of specific doctrines.
There are, I fear many forms of fundamentalism--and an unreflexive reaction to Faith is one of them.
Let it be Being, if need be, but please: a spark of poetry and mystery, as so many of you wonderful guests have provided.

My two cents . . . "Being" does not resonate with me, although I agree a change from "SOF" was needed. Try again, please. "Being" is too cryptic, too vague, too general. It lacks the feeling of flowing hospitality that should permeate your conversations.

Pages