On the Blog

1
June 04, 2008

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

June 04, 2008

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

June 03, 2008

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

May 28, 2008


“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.


May 27, 2008

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.

1
May 23, 2008

A gripping photo from the 2008 earthquake.

May 22, 2008

We use a third-party service, Disqus, for our commenting engine on our blog. Due to some changes from our blog service (Tumblr), older comments submitted before today are not showing up on our site. We haven’t lost them though; they just aren’t reconciling with the permalink for each blog post.

So please keep the comments coming — and your suggestions for the Webby five-word acceptance speech. The new ones will display and the older comments will show up as soon as the issue’s resolved.

[UPDATE] It looks like everything is back to normal now. Please let us know if you’re experiencing any difficulty or noticed one of your comments is missing in action. Cheers. 


May 21, 2008

The classic Eames Office video about the Powers of Ten is likened to a "a low budget 70s era educational filmstrip."

May 13, 2008

It’s hard not to see life as utterly random and meaningless in the face of disasters like the recent cyclone in Myanmar or the earthquake in China. And this is an issue that comes up again and again in theological circles, referred to as as the theodicy question: How could a just god let innocent people suffer and die?

May 12, 2008

Our senior editor traces the atypical path of developing and producing this program and its Web elements.

May 09, 2008

What do you do when an interview on AJH is too good to be cut? Be merciless.

1
May 07, 2008

Preparing for this program was like putting lighting in a bottle. Armstrong travels the world, writes voluminously, and continually develops her ideas. Video of her TED Talk helped us mind the gap.

May 01, 2008

Kate posted a poem a while back that, she said, bonked her on the head. Robinson Jeffers, nature poet of the Central Coast in California, wrote this one that never fails to make me gasp. As the snows linger on in Minnesota, it also makes me a little homesick for the grandeur of the Pacific.

Editorial Note June 12, 2008: “The Great Explosion” is reprinted on many sites on the internet. In deference to copyright, the text has been removed from this post and a link to the text provided above. (Kate Moos, Managing Editor)

April 24, 2008
April 23, 2008

Catholics of all sorts have been responding to our call for their stories. They’ve been writing to tell us about their experiences in the Catholic Church — the beauty and the pain and the hope they feel belonging to this vast and ancient tradition. We have been amazed by the depth and feeling with which these people have told us their stories. In an upcoming show in May, you’ll hear for yourself the fruit of these insightful voices.

April 20, 2008

A stirring set of questions from the Sephardic seder tradition creates a new space for a father's reflection on Passover.

April 18, 2008

We’ve been asked to redo our staff bios on our About Staff page to make them more, well, human and quirky. Writing your own bio is a very odd experience. You refer to yourself in the third person, possibly like something Napoleon might do. We (and I do mean the royal “we”) hope to get those brushed up over the next few days and up online.


April 16, 2008

Editor’s note: Our parent organization, American Public Media (APM), is a large and diverse organization. Maria is the manager of software development for the company. She’s a fan of SOF who travels extensively and is planning an introspective journey to myriad spiritual sites around the world. We invited her to contribute to SOF Observed on occasion and reflect as she listens to Krista’s interviews and works with us on upcoming projects.

April 15, 2008

Over the past week I have been travelling. I must make a choice about my education, and I have been visiting the schools I am considering attending, asking questions of their students, staff, and faculty.

People who study religion are often full of questions.  So at The Divinity School of the University of Chicago someone raised the following: “What resources do you have for frustrated Catholic women?”  There turned out to be a bevy of enthusiastic resources: a nun, a professor, three students, and an administrator each spoke up, excited at the chance to start a discussion about the role of women in the Catholic Church.  One Episcopal male student shouted, “You should convert!”  The nun described a woman who had carved a church leadership position for herself without being ordained.  The professor was still searching for an answer herself.

April 11, 2008

CNN is broadcasting a presidential candidate forum on faith issues this Sunday, April 13, at 8:00pm ET that includes both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (as of this post, John McCain had not accepted the invitation to participate).  I hate to admit it, but I think I’m not alone in acknowledging that my attention to this year’s presidential election ebbs and flows as the long months of campaigning continue.  But I will tune in this weekend with hopes of hearing a substantive dialogue on ”pressing moral issues that are bridging ideological divides now more than ever, including poverty, global AIDS, climate change and human rights.”


Pages

apples