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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.


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430 Comments

Thanks, Betty!
Kate Moos

Krista -

As a listener, I'm gone.

Perhaps you can make the name change work. If you do, I am sure it will be a with a completely different audience.

It has been wonderful.

I too will miss the name..."Speaking of Faith". I'm sorry that you feel you need to submerge the word faith. But the show is soo wonderful, that will I hang in there...have Faith..and hope that it's content will stays as meaningful. Good luck with this transition

I do not wish to sound harsh or hurtful, but my first impression of new name was this:
self-promoting talk show host on New Age commercial radio.

Is it too late not to change?

bmb,
I am trying to write here in reply to as many people as possible to assure you that Krista's name in front is being used to assure our audience that she remains the host and editorial leader of these conversations. Our surveys showed us that her name is equally associated with the program as SoF. If it were not there in the title, wouldn't you worry that she was gone? We tried "Being with Krista Tippett" but that was not a suitable alternative for many reasons.
Best, and thanks for writing.

Kate Moos

Agree with those who feel the name changes is presumptuous. It also leads me to believe that the show will expand further into materialism, which it seems to be drifting towards anyway. Who needs Faith when we have Scientific Materialism to support understanding of purpose?

I, too, think that it sounds too New Age-y. How about Speaking of Faith and Being, if you must.

I am so disappointed with you. It's not the change in the name -- that is largely irrelevant. It is the justification. You say that the new name" 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." Since when has faith been on the "sidelines of real life"? I am not nit-picking -- words have meaning -- they denote and they connote. The connotations carry the meaning here.

I am a fairly liberal Presbyterian who admits to profound difficulties with organized religion. Mostly due to the fact that organized religion has very little to do with "faith" in any real sense of the word. You have have reflected a very real sense of faith as it is reflected in the "real world". Now I sense you are frightened by the weight of that word, "faith". How sad. I wish you well in your search. I will not be joining you -- faith does not frighten me. Blessings on your journey.

I have been a loyal listener for many years now. The new title, "Krista Tippett on Being" changes the intent of the show for me, making it sound like only Krista's thoughts on Being.... and strikes me as pretentious of the host. I think the word "being" loses alot of people because it is vague and may be seen as "new-agey." I think the content of the show speaks volumes of what the show is about. Perhaps the subtitle "Conversations about religion, meaning, ethics and ideas" should be dropped, as that focuses the title on specific content, and this will resolve the issue of turning off people because they think it has to do with religion.

I think your new name is inclusive for all of us who are not spiritually driven by a particular faith. Thanks for the name change.

I fear you have gone from a name which was too constricting to one which is wildly overinclusive and, consequently, pretty meaningless. Personally I regret the change.

although not sure about the name, the topics on speaking of faith have run far afield from one might expect by the title, which suggests a straightforward review of what is going on with various religions. so assuming the show will continue on as is, i'm ok with it.

it's a bit mushy...

dialogues of the divine, or divine dialogues would have been cool. or meaning and truths.
don't care for the leonisation of KT's name either. too showbiz...

now that's out the way, lol, this show is awesome, and Krista takes interviewing about spirituality to a whole other level.

i remember when i'd d/load the podcast on dialup, sometimes it'd take all night!

hey call it fred, but keep it coming, i have so much faith in what you're speaking.

last note: da-da da daa, speak-ing of faith...the cadence was very catchy, the new one is lumpy rhythmically, as well as too vague...nice try though, i do see the possible advantages of inclusiveness when it comes to folks so traumatised by bad religion they break out in cold sweats at the f-word!

I am also sad that you seem to think that the current title no longer reflects what the program has become. I think it does, and in the process has enlarged my sense of what "faith" encompasses. "Being" may indeed seem to embrace a larger sphere of reflection, but without context, that meaning won't be seen. I agree with the observation that by abandoning the term "faith", you have turned over the perceived discussion of spiritual matters to those who have a prescribed definition of it. I am a practicing Buddhist, and, while "being" is a core precept in Buddhism, I also recognize the relationship of it to faith. Faith, to me, describes our human need to account for ourselves in spiritual terms. I hope you reconsider. "Speaking of Faith" implies a continuing exploration that begins with that search to encompass all the facets of being. Please keep it.

I too can understand how the name "Speaking of Faith" may not have captured the real thrust of your program. When speaking with people I have found them to use the term "faith" in what I would consider an inappropriate context. I have viewed "knowledge" as being made up of three groupings of truths: science, philosophy, and faith. Science involves those truths we can observe and test. Philosophy involves those truths that come from our reflections. Faith involves those truths that we cannot test, but yet we "know" in our "being" they are truths. It is the values that flow out of the truths we acquire in our quest for knowledge that guide us as individuals. Your program has served, for me, as an important vehicle in my quest for knowledge. So, as you change your name I will ask of you what Shakespeare asked of two lovers: "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Allee A. Ramadhan

Speaking of Faith truly reflects what this program has always been to me in the years that I have been listening. Faith is not a body of beliefs, it is a much deeper and spiritual expression of relationship. It is this deeper understanding of faith that truly reflects the very heart of the program. The more esoteric "From Faith to Being" is not only more abstract but also misleading. If faith is the deepest level of our human relationships, then being (the substance of existence) is what leads us to faith. I would vote to keep the current name. It is also, simply, more memorable. In an increasingly secular world, it was good to have a program that was not afraid to speak of "faith" in its positive and diverse ways. I will continue to listen but I will also continue to refer to the program as "Speaking of Faith".

Fred R. Krauss

I absolutely hate the new name. I think the current name is just fine and it fits the program perfectly. This is a horrible idea, seems for about KT and self promoting and showbiz.

I've been listening to the show for some time, so I understand the reasoning behind the title change. I am, however, not in favor of it. "Speaking of Faith" clearly delineates the subject matter of the program: discussions of faith, belief and philosophy, and I know from my experiences of the program that this subject matter is also discussed in terms of its impact on daily life. "Being", however, is impossibly vague. No potential listener will understand the oeuvre of the program from this title. It could be a diet or exercise program. It could be a listener call-in program about relationship problems or psychological health. It could be about poetry. It could be about a lot of things, and does not succinctly depict the focus of the show at all. Yes, it is a title to "grow into", because it's so hopelessly vague that it can encompass thousands of disparate things. Is Krista Tippett now such a global celebrity that people will instantly understand what it means to hear her discuss "being"? I don't think so. The fact that my local NPR station "downgraded" the show from a Sunday 11 am slot to a 6 am slot rather demonstrates that people weren't actively seeking it out with the original title. The title change will, I think, cause the unwitting to shrug their shoulders and move on, without having listened to a single episode of this enlightening and uplifting show.

DFerrar,
Thanks for writing. I'm sorry you are not pleased with "Being." I want you to know that we are keeping our tag language, and so will remain "conversation about religion, meaning, ethics and ideas." The open-ness of the new title, we hope, will welcome new listeners who were offput by the previous title.

The idea of Krista's name in the title is not about celebrity. Our research showed that her name was as closely associated with the program as the title SoF itself, and we felt it was important to let people know that Krista remained the host, and central to the program's editorial vision. "Being with Krista Tippett" didn't work, for many reasons.

I hope this helps make some sense.

Best,
Kate Moos

I was very happy with the old name. The word Faith is what attracted me to the program. I was curious - so, I tuned in. I will continue, but I am disappointed in the change. "Being" is just to vague. What about "Being in our world". Or, what about just keeping the old name. Thanks for all the wonderful programming.

On Being? If spiritual life is exercised in relationships and just about only in relationships - of all possible kinds - why would you restrict yourself just to 'being'? How does it help, for instance, the chances of the earth if we thought our relationship to the earth required us simply to 'be'. Did Jesus restrict Himself just to being? Or Mahatma Ghandi? Or Rumi? What an odd decision!

Perfect!

I was very excited to hear the annoucement of the name change of this engaging program. "Yes!" was my immediate reaction. For the rest of the day, I pondered why the name "Being" seems so right at this time. I am 68 years old, and I feel that my own journey has, over the years, stretched and finally burst out of the concept of "faith" to something beyond doctrinal beliefs: a way of being in the world that is not only caring, but ever-wondering and ever-questioning.

I love your show so much and I have been listening for a long time I am not a religious person but I am very spiritual. I had no problem with the name, however when I recommended it to people I was disappointed when they said I am not interested in religion, I told them it is about life and everything that human beings should be interested in.
I hope that the new name will open the show up to more people and that will be wonderful.Change is good, have faith and believe in what you are doing and never stop !

Hi Krista and all,
I have been listening for several years now, and quote SOF stories frequently to both my faith community and secular friends. The conversations have been thought-provoking and have deepened my faith as well as my understanding of others. I must confess that I did not, at first, want to listen to a "religion" show, but the content drew me in, and it's now one of my favorite shows. I listen mostly on podcast, and I also listen to the unedited interviews (thanks for posting these!!). I, too, wondered about how Krista and company could keep up the blistering pace of interviews. There have been quite a few "encore" presentations, so I am curious if the new name will also herald some new shows.
I have not yet decided if the new name will be positive or negative in attracting and keeping an audience. To me, SOF describes more of what the show is about than a nebulous term like "Being" - this could mean a lot of different things to different people. However, I am willing to keep an open mind and see what happens. The content will determine whether people stay for the long term or leave. Please keep up the fascinating insights into the full range of "being" and draw us all in to a more thoughtful and involved conversations.

I love the show so much, I am an avid listener, Just to let know, as a practicing Muslim, I have no problem with the name; "Speaking of Faith", you should keep it. But whatever you decide to call the show, I will still listen to it...Please don't change it.
Aziz

Krista, I love what you do. Science and education is missing in our lives. We are all searching for the truth and why are we born and die. I have great repsect for you. When death comes , it is very crititical for human beings. There is life after death.When I spent forty days on a montain ,praying and meditating. My faith has been answered . I learned from the wise men. Physical history for humanity. If we can learn and change our human ego and learn peace ,love. We can learn beyond human capacity. See the ancient artifacts on my facebook/karmashah7. See the lost horizon knowledge on youtube by CBS. One day we leave empty handed. In the future ,severe humble comfort for humanity. In the future , if science and educators want to learn , I"ll share with honor .Thank you peace ,love and good karma. youtube "Lost Horizon Knowledge"

facebook.com/karmashah7

Sincerely

Shah

I am reminded of "the ground of being" in the new title. Like it.

I don't really care what you call it, so long as the quality continues. What I would like is for stations that carry it to broadcast it at times NOT in conflict with common worship schedules. Yes, I can and do get it from the internet, but powering a computer to listen to radio is not very energy efficient.

i am not even reading the other comments at this time.... i truly love this show and have recommended to so many people. i listen to it mostly via podcast. feel so inspired, relieved, educated... spurred on to do! to be kind , enjoy life, think and contribute to our world. love it . i bless a rock and pray to the universe for krista and us all! ... i did like the beat and such of sof though the word failth scared me away at first. i do like the word now. faith. but ya know we are all just be - ing. ya, krista.

I think the name change is excellent. "Being" is a better word for reflecting the content and focus of the program than is "Faith", partly due to the latter's close association with "Belief" which is not at the core of the program. For folks who think "Being" is more "vague" or "mushy" than "Faith", I would suggest that the real difference they are experiencing is one of "familiarity". "Faith", surely, is a very "vague" and "mushy" word. But it's familiarity makes it feel otherwise. We need to do some work to understand and comprehend "Being". Help will come as we stick with the program because "Being" is what it's been about all along.

I'm super disappointed to see this name change.

I love this show and listen regularly for both challenge and comfort. As an Episcopal priest in her early 30s, I draw both personal and professional inspiration from "Speaking of Faith." The diverse and consistently deep conversations on "SOF" allow me to better engage and navigate a world in which the progressive church has lost (much of) its stronghold even though people continue to seek and hunger for spiritual sustenance and transformation. I thank you for that.

I've always been proud that "Speaking of Faith" does not shy away in its program name from (re-)claiming the word "faith" and expanding its definition. As someone who both identifies publicly as a person of faith and who believes that the language we use matters, I'm disappointed, sad and disturbed to see the word "faith" dropped from the program name. By including the word "faith" in your program name, you help to EXPAND the definition of faith to include ethics, spirituality, meaning, ideas, etc. The name change puts a damper on this reclaimed and transformed concept of faith your show helps to communicate -- at least to the countless college students in search of a progressive conversation specifically about "faith" that I regularly send your way. Perhaps it is naive at this moment in history to believe that faith can be an asset rather than a liability in a business plan, but "SOF" gave me this hope!

Your name change is a huge blow to religious practitioners who are on the front lines, trying with integrity, compassion and a deep sense of justice to connect people to fresh, expansive expressions of faith (read: all sorts of ideas, questions of meaning and ethics, spiritual practices, etc.) within a religious "institutional" context.

Perhaps exploring the tension between the forces of capitalism and the ground of our being ought to be the topic of your next program. Teilhard, a person of faith and priest, would certainly approve.

Ms. Janelle:

I agree with your comments, and am also disappointed in the name change. I have always appreciated the "Speaking of Faith" title, especially in listening to how the program expands our (my) definition of 'faith'. This program is the one solid place I can go to on NPR to listen to programs/interviews about FAITH - removing that part of the title removes something important regarding the content of the program. Just my 2 cents worth.

As a dedicated member of your audience, I am very disappointed with the name change. Partly it is that "being" changes the focus, as others have said, away from spirituality. The reasons you mention for the name change (mostly the evocation of the name of God) sound hollow to me. If you want to avoid "faith", change it to "speaking of being" then! I'd be fine, in fact pretty happy, with that. But mostly, and with all due respect for all the work you have done to create this great program, I am disappointed because you have put your name first.

It has been apparent to me that for some time that the focus of the program has shifted away from your guests to yourself. You have naturally been asking questions you personally are interested in, but I don't feel you have asked yourself if these are the questions your listeners would be asking of your guests. It's subtle, and surely a slippery slope for a successful host, but it's there, in my view.

Overall though you have been a very good and courageous interviewer, in good part because you are a scholar. I am grateful for your program, and I have always looked forward to the next interview (of course not all are equally interesting to me). But you are not such a scholar that I'd tune in to hear more than a couple of weeks what you have to say about "being". And that's what the new title conveys. Also, your message that we are to "grow into this new name" is condescending, it's pretty awful actually. I think that message conveys all the bad reasons behind the name change.

The focus of the program, and your success, has been on your guests and your erudition *as you interview them*.

Don't ruin a great program. Keep yourself in a good place. In one word: Humility. Keep bringing all these wonderful people to the air waves in most thoughtful interviews.

Sincerely!

one of my dear friends regularly reminds others "We are human beings, not human doings". In our hectic, consumer-driven and too often isolated lives, it's an important lesson to us all. I think the new name works. I know I'll continue listening.
many thanks,
Audrey

Your productive association of "human being" with the new program name triggered the
following program name- Krista Tippet : On Being Human or Krista Tippet :On the Human Experience.
I'm pleased that Krista's name is now part of the title. We listeners
appreciate the moving warm intelligence,and sensibility she brings to the progam. She succedes in making arcane ideas accessible. And reminds us of the profound dignity and importance of ideas that we might brush off as being (there's that word) simple or worn out .

Awesome change. I was happy with the previous name for the show but this is a truly insightful update. For those of you wondering about the connection to faith should check out John Zizioulas' "Being as Communion".

I greatly appreciate and enjoy the show and now that I am a listener it matters little to me what you call it. You are seeking feedback and in the spirit of candor I admit I find the "name first" change a bit contradictory. It "feels" inappropriate as it focuses on the individual, not the subject matter. Current listeners will be able to follow along or find the show (there's that Google thing....) and the uninitiated are not likely to be drawn to something as vague as "Someone's Name on Being". Keep searching? Maybe something with both "Faith" and "Being" in the title since, as you say, "Being with Krista Tippet" doesn't make much sense. As I said though, I'll be listening regardless of the title Thank you for your work and efforts.

Your original title challenged people to expand their notion of faith. Now we just have the fundamentalists using the word. What a loss.

Helen

Hi Krista - Your program is extraordinary.....I will take it on faith....the journey
with continue in new directions and a larger context....but always with a very special perspective....Thank you......Sincerely, Craig Padover Bergen County, NJ

Hi Craig, horning in on your post here to second your faith in Krista's continuing in her exemplary ways. I was bummed to hear SofF would be "no more" and was relieved to find it was only a name change.

Aloha, Krista! Keep on keeping on, we love you!
Frank Luke

Outstanding. Your conversation with us is the best and the change in name reflects deep consideration and a willingness to continue to be more human and more inclusive.
I refer you to the great Franciscan speaker and thinker, Richard Rohr (founder, Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM) who, years ago, convinced me that the most descriptive name for God is "Being."

Thank you for all that you do.
Peace.
Greg Corrigan
302.357-7745
Wilmington, Delaware

The name change sounds like a retreat from, and an attempt to distance oneself from, religion and religious topics and one's relationship with God (or even the lack of or disbelief in). Like most media enterprises, I think there is a nearly irresistible urge to "revamp" a project occasionally in an attempt to breath new life into participants and listeners, but "being?" This indicates a progression from a show about something toward a program about everything (that is to say nothing). -- Mykal Banta

I heard a great program one morning. It was fascinating, interesting and challenging. Then I heard the name and was turned off. I still listen, but the name seems incongruous to me. Thanks for intentionally welcoming into the 'conversation' the rest of us, for whom "faith" has specific (and not so good) connotations.

I think the name change would be great if that was what the program was really about. I do agree that Speaking of Faith doesn't fit anymore either. Both names imply that the program explores the foundational and philosophical questions of why we are here and what it all means. It used to do that - that is what drew me to the program. However of late, the content has become much more about social change and social consciousness. Don’t get me wrong, those are interesting and important topics - they are just not as interesting to me personally. As mentioned, I am one who looked to this program to provide insight into the most important questions of why we are here and what does it all means. These are questions that obviously can’t be answered definitively, but it is life giving to engage in the dialogue none the less. Krista provided a great forum to explore these questions in a balanced and open minded way. I miss that. You can probably tell from my post that I am no longer the avid listener I used to be, but I do wish Krista and the program the best of luck going forward. I have no doubt that the issues her program now addresses speak to more people where they are at – and ultimately whether you are “public” radio or not, it is all about ratings. Perhaps a title that more closely matches the current program content would be something like Krista Tippett on Social Consciousness.

Horrid. It is over-reaching and sounds egomaniacal of Ms Tippett, even should she be not so.

Then again, I'm an atheist who thinks the programme generally far too soft on faith, and so am basically out-of-sympathy with much of your audience.

I can't believe you didn't have the integrity to post my critical comments, especially in light of other critical comments only recently posted. I worked hard on them and I do not have a copy!! Please don't make me reconstruct the whole thing, and then water down the language. These comments were heart-felt, if perhaps a tad strong. If you refuse to post them, perhaps you could post this comment about your not posting my comment?!

Hi, Ed. You may have missed your post in the thread below, but we did post it. Just to let you know, we approve all comments rather than automatically posting them on our blog and website, so sometimes it takes a bit longer &mash; especially on Sundays. We do this not in order to control the message but so as to encourage fruitful, passionate, civil dialogue without interruption from spammers or flamers. Thanks for participating in this thread and your patience with me.

Sorry, I did miss it. It was posted on another thread. My mistake. Thanks for tolerating my little tantrum.

Your new name quite rightly reflects the fact that in recent years your show has, with increasing consistency, had little to do with faith(!), at least not as one might historically define the term. Most shows are just doses of pacifism, scientism, race-relations, anti-capitalism, feminism, panentheism, with a dollop of New Age mumbo jumbo. I regret this because you "were" the only show to do in-depth discussion of doctrine, both within and across "faiths." A better title for the current show might be "Being Krista Tippett." May the force be with you.

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