On Being Blog

Joshua Rae Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 06:55

Turning a camera on the staff, our recently departed intern captures a piece of the radio production process for a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce On Being.

Dan Collison Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 06:05

What would happen if, rather than "making an idol out of certainty" and shunning uncertainty, we leaned into it? A pastor wonders whether doubt might make us more empathic and less anxious society.

Heike Springhart Friday, June 20, 2014 - 06:05

A hero to some and heretic to others, once more the theologian Hans Küng has sparked much debate in Germany with his recent question, "How long do I want to live?"

Trent Gilliss Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 04:50

Our weekly roundup of all things curious and inspiring, including a photo series that speaks to the quiet human dramas of daily life, an inspirational story of a healer finding his calling, music from Leonard Cohen that offers solace, and an unusual and poetic meditation on loss.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 05:26

A video with Parker Palmer discussing Lincoln's depression and how he sees the 16th U.S. President's ability to reconcile the darkness and lightness within himself as a lesson for us all in healing the heart of democracy.

Christy Shake Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 05:39

A daughter reflects on the quiet, unassuming ways of her father — and how being "rooted in the physical" helps her and her son connect without the use of words or a faith in something larger than what's in front of them.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 10:06

The best of the week — including an invitation to our studios, a lesson in the uniqueness of humans, sage words from Parker Palmer on paradox, and an arresting collection of images that captures everyday life in Africa.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 04:30

Some thoughts on Leonard Cohen, our small and imperfect contributions to solving big problems, the "potluck supper approach to social change," and how the light gets in.

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 07:49

The writer's words from 1955 resonate even more profoundly today in an era of technological ubiquity. A meditation on the gifts of solitude, loneliness, and silence.

Gloria Jean Bubba Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 16:00

A daughter shares this meditation on the grief and the loss that comes slowly from losing her mother to Alzheimer's disease. Through the story of Gethsemane, she finds an uncomfortable solace and a quiet rebuke for falling asleep while waiting.

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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.