On Being Blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 09:05

A couple of interesting items as we approach the show on languages, in which we speak to novelist David Treuer about his efforts at the revitalization of Ojibwe.


Monday, June 16, 2008 - 12:21

Katherine Marshall, who has spent three decades in international development, sounds like a really interesting voice. Later this week, she’ll be co-moderating a panel in Washington with Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals. It’s a meeting of American Evangelicals and Moroccan Muslims who are both concerned about global warming. I introduced myself and she says she’s got tons of stories. I’d love to hear more about this Moroccan thing. Anyway, out to lunch now.


Monday, June 16, 2008 - 10:39

Spending the day here at the first day of the PUSH Conference in Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. I’m actually on the beat for our show idea on the ethics of international aid and development. PUSH, in the words of organizer Cecily Sommers, is about looking at the polarizing forces in our world, and what the space in between those poles offers (sounds familiar). PUSH is an ideas conference that brings together interesting thinkers who have inspiring ideas. Some of our past guests can be found here, like Eboo Patel and Anthea Butler. I think I saw Nathan Dungan in conversation with someone.

The space between those poles is what they’re calling The Fertile Delta, which is the theme of this year’s conference. This morning’s “pole” is economics. Some pretty inspiring stuff so far, and I hope to have some more thoughts later on in the day.


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.

1
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 15:05

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

1
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.

Pages

Latest Interviews

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.

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.