On Being Blog

Megan Bender Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 18:06

On the first Sunday of October, pet owners flock to an unlikely place: their local churches. Across the U.S., dogs, cats, hamsters, and even birds gather to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis, otherwise known as “the blessing of the animals.”

Trent Gilliss Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 07:24

Krista sits down with The Takeaway to explain the impulses behind the Pew polls on the religiously unaffiliated Millennials. She believes that this growing number of unaffiliated young people are a source of renewal of religion in the U.S.

Trent Gilliss Friday, October 18, 2013 - 07:08

How has your religious identity changed? Does faith still play an important role in your life? Are you concerned that young people are leaving religious institutions? Join John Hockenberry today (Friday, October 18) at 2:00 pm ET to participate in a live online chat. Whatever questions or comments you have, we hope you add your voice to the conversation.

Trent Gilliss Friday, October 18, 2013 - 06:55

Why are atheism and agnosticism on the rise? And what does it take to go against your family's faith? Three young atheists discuss how they began to question their faith and what it was like to leave the church.

Mikel Ellcessor Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 05:00

Three young Muslim-Americans — Kamran, Tasneem, and Zahra — struggle to reconcile their "Muslim" and "American" identities. Why don't we hear more of this in the media?

Trent Gilliss Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 12:42

On Being partners with The Takeaway to explore the deep questions of people's changing relationship with religion and faith in the U.S. as part of their series “Young Nation Under God?”

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 14:50

A video that will inspire you to think more deeply about your place in the universe.

Trent Gilliss Friday, October 11, 2013 - 23:32

A young Pakistani girl shares a story of strength and peace that leaves us all in awe.

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 06:26

Morrie Schwartz makes sense of it all while tomatoes are flying.

Trent Gilliss Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 21:43

Yosemite meets Saarschleife in this pairing of German wilderness and poignant words from John Muir.

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Latest Interviews

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.

June 5, 2014

As the daughter of Johnny Cash, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash describes her life as "circumscribed by music." But, it's through her love of language and quantum mechanics that she's finding new sources of creativity and mathematical ways to think about the divine. The mother of five shares her perspectives on being present, Twitter as a "boot camp for songwriters," and how she wrestles with love and grief through her music.