On Being Blog

Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 12:44

These are just some ideas we’ll be researching this summer:

  • The ethics of international aid, the moral impulse behind it, and the relationship between wealthy and poor countries as a matter of policy
  • Music… The “music show” idea just won’t die, but we just can’t seem to find a way to pin down such a broad topic
  • The spiritual scene in China right now as its economy soars and it hosts the Olympics
  • Gay marriage, as Kate posted earlier
  • The relationship between humans and animals, the bonds that exist there
  • The ups and downs of the faith angle in the U.S. presidential campaign/marathon/extended director’s cut of Lord of the Rings

We’re digging up some great names and speakers, but don’t be shy about suggesting someone.


Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 09:02

Our consulting editor experiences Monk's "spiritual propulsion" at her live performance.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 15:05

What are your thoughts about how to cover this issue? We could use your suggestions.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 13:27

Will the transcendent possibilities of "the singularity" invade our spiritual domains too?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 06:37

Finding the line between doing good and crippling those one's trying to help — at home and abroad.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 06:19

What do you get when you search the term "heschel" — a surprising image and a moment of insight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 10:47


“An Ojibwe Language Society Calendar” (photo: Hanson Dates/flickr)

Working on an upcoming SOF show about endangered languages, I called a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University to get recordings of Ojibwe speakers for the radio program and website. His answering machine message was delivered first in Ojibwe and then in English. Then this week I called someone who works at an Ojibwe immersion school in Wisconsin, and his answering machine message was Ojibwe only.

It was a little disorienting but also inspiring to hear the language in this modern context, especially considering that Ojibwe is one of only a handful of Native American languages now spoken in the United States and Canada that is expected to survive beyond 2050.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 10:05

What is it about Bible stories? For me they can be like catchy music; I’ll get one stuck in my head and then, while I wait for the bus or cut up vegetables or fold laundry, the story will run on repeat, offering its melodies, harmonies, dissonances. These ancient stories — so full of existential drama — can become obsessions.

I’ve been thinking constantly for the past year or so about the Book of Ruth.  (Read the whole book yourself here.) Naomi, her husband and sons all dead, is in mourning. She’s planning to move home to Bethlehem. She tells her newly widowed daughters-in-law to go back to their families; they can remarry in their native towns. But Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, insists on moving with Naomi back to Judah. We don’t know exactly why.

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Friday, May 23, 2008 - 12:13

A gripping photo from the 2008 earthquake.

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