On Being Blog

Jeanne Bishop Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 20:50

To be so far from want that we wish others to be partakers of our plenty is something for which to give thanks writes a Chicago public defender on this Thanksgiving day.

Trent Gilliss Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 06:27

Pop culture makes meaning. Enter the Florida State University AcaBelles' a cappella rendition of Lorde's "Royals" to make the point.

Lily Percy Friday, November 22, 2013 - 16:26

Geneticist and Anglican priest Lindon Eaves offers insight on how he's able to take comfort in what he does not know, in both science and religion — something we could all learn from.

Trent Gilliss Monday, November 18, 2013 - 05:37

In a 1919 letter to Gandhi, the Nobel laureate offers these words of advice on planting the seeds of intolerance.

Lily Percy Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 10:52

A moving affirmation of the power we have to affect one another simply by being ourselves.

Trent Gilliss Monday, November 11, 2013 - 14:31

Rachel Button sent us this poem marking the parades that often go unacknowledged on Veterans Day.

Trent Gilliss Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 07:28

KindSpring creates a project to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for with the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge. What are you thankful for?

Trent Gilliss Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 08:42

Sally Kohn offers a vision of how we can better communicate with others who don't share our perspectives and ideas. The way in? Emotional correctness rather than political correctness.

Eric Nelson Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 05:56

Would the Higgs boson exist without our thinking it existed in the first place. Is it possible that by thinking differently – about ourselves, about others, about our universe – we might begin to see things differently?

Sarah Imoff Monday, November 4, 2013 - 05:00

Is this Hasidic man posing on a bed for an American Apparel advertisement a sexualized image? Sarah Imoff argues why the media fails to see the context and places the model — and the tradition — on a pedestal.

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Latest Interviews

April 24, 2014

The idea of reciting an unchanging creed sounds suspicious to modern ears. But the late, great historian Jaroslav Pelikan illuminated ancient tradition in order to enliven faith in the present and the future. He insisted that strong statements of belief will be necessary if pluralism in the 21st century is to thrive. We take in his moving, provocative perspective on our enduring need for creeds.

April 17, 2014

"The soul is contained in the voice."

StoryCorps founder David Isay and Krista Tippett have an intimate conversation about their shared love of listening — and the importance of creating spaces to tell our stories to each other. For him, the spaces where two people ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask of each other are sacred. Listening, he’s learned, is an act of love. Eliciting and capturing our stories is a way of insisting that every life matters.

April 10, 2014

With a master of midrash as our guide, we walk through the Exodus story at the heart of Passover. It's not the simple narrative you've watched at the movies or learned in Sunday school. Neither Moses or Pharaoh, nor the oppressed Israelites or even God, are as they seem. As Avivah Zornberg reveals, Exodus is a cargo of hidden stories — telling the messy, strange, redemptive truth of us as we are, and life as it is.

April 3, 2014

An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.

March 27, 2014

"Your staying alive means so much more than you really know or that anyone is aware of at this moment."

Philosopher, historian, and poet Jennifer Michael Hecht has traced how Western civilization has at times demonized those who commit suicide, at times celebrated it as a moral freedom. She proposes a reframed cultural conversation, based not on morality or rights but on our essential need for each other.

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