On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY Alexandra Elle January 18, 2016

Being around people can be an anxious experience, if not draining experience, for many. But, how can we manage that trepidation and move forward? Alexandra Elle reflects on having the courage to show up and interact when it feels next to impossible.

On the Blog

BY October 01, 2010

For nearly all of Krista’s interviews nowadays, we live-tweet (@softweets) the verbal gems and meaningful points of the conversation so that we can provide some type of real-time dialogue with our online friends. But, we realize many of you either don’t use Twitter or just simply miss our tweets because of the busy pace of a day at work or home so we’re creating a catalog of those submissions for you to read in one place.

Following is our “Twitterscript” of Krista’s interview with Joanna Macy that took place over an ISDN line on July 13, 2010. As you may know, it was a wonderful conversation that made for an instant classic titled “A Wild Love for the World.” A former CIA agent and translator of Rainer Maria Rilke, a Buddhist teach and a philosopher of ecology, this octogenarian had many wise things to share that were wonderful nuggets for our Twitterstream:

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BY October 01, 2010

A riveting piece from Religion Dispatches on an Mormon elder's apology over the LDS Church's activism on Prop 8.

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BY September 30, 2010

As if Morocco and the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music weren't enchanting enough. A guest contribution with video by Hussein Rashid on the magical intimacy of Sufi Nights.

BY September 24, 2010

Reinhold Niebuhr
Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr teaches a class at Union Theological Seminary. (photo: Gjon Mili/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Richard Crouter’s elegant, concise book on Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought and legacy is a magnificent introduction to the life and work of this 20th-century theologian and public intellectual. I’ve been an armchair aficionado of this major thinker since the early days of this program when we produced a show and a magnificent (if you can forgive me for saying so) website we entitled “Moral Man and Immoral Society,” after one of Niebuhr’s significant works.

BY September 23, 2010

South Dakota Farmland and Big Horizon

When I first lived in the upper Great Plains, I did so as a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. I still remember the day when my parents’ car pulled away and I was standing by my dorm wondering why I had decided to move almost 800 miles from my home in Montana. While I would miss my parents and friends, I began to miss the mountains almost immediately.

I felt like Beret, the female protagonist in Giants in the Earth who left her home in Norway and moved to Dakota Territory. The vast grasslands and harsh climate nearly drove her mad. When I would look outward, I would think, “There’s nothing to see.” Flat land seemed to stretch everywhere and yet nowhere. Corn fields and soy beans. 

BY September 22, 2010

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
9-10 a.m.

BY September 21, 2010

In seeking out others to celebrate Tashlikh, our producer wrestles with thoughts on community even when being received warmly by a new one.

BY September 21, 2010

Recently back from a vacation I needed — and with fresh eyes on the intensity of the present moment — I think the most surprising thing about our name change process is how big and dramatic it feels. Names matter, and as clear as I am that our content won’t change moving forward, we are in fact changing our identity. I feel that personally — a little off balance, a little shaky, a little scared. I’m also feeling the upside of those same elemental human emotions: recharged, excited, expectant. But I have had the benefit of nearly two years of thinking about making this change, brainstorming it, seeking counsel about it, and finally reaching a decision.

BY September 20, 2010

Folks will donate to help one person in need more often than two. And when presented with those thousands or millions suffering? It's overwhelming and we do not act.

BY September 16, 2010

Muslim Woman Attends Friday Prayers in Lower Manhattan
Reem El Shafaki, an Egyptian now living in New Jersey, stands in front of the proposed site of the Park51 mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan. (photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The news has been thick with polarized debates about proposed Qur’an burnings in Florida and the Park51 project. Tamara Lee, a listener from Hopewell, New Jersey, writes us looking for some advice:

BY September 15, 2010

While editing the site for this week’s retrospective show, I compiled a short list of the top 10 posts read on this blog, SOF Observed. It’s always interesting to see what readers really click through and what they share:

BY September 14, 2010

Following on Trent’s thoughtful post a few days ago, I share two pieces of helpful thinking that have crossed my desk. These refresh my spirit over media-generated confusion, false symbolism, fear, and vitriol. They are by a Jew and a Muslim, people who have been on our program in the past. I like to think that the ethos of discourse towards which they strive and we strive has its effect on the world, though what is distressing is so much noisier, and so distracting.

Yossi Klein Halevi has written an open letter to Imam Feisal in The New Republic. He opens up the “controversy” with a proposal that is provocative in the best sense of the word.

BY September 13, 2010

Franklin Graham at Park Street ChurchA good one. Martin Marty rarely swings for the fences, but when he does he knocks it out of the park. In today’s Sightings column, he takes aim at the son of Billy Graham: 

Franklin Graham on Islam and Violence
by Martin E. Marty

BY September 12, 2010

Martin Buber Postage Stamp

There’s spirituality thriving in our houses of worship, often unnoticed and unappreciated. It flourishes in the ordinary give-and-take of congregational life, in person-to-person exchanges that Jewish thinker Martin Buber called I-Thou. And we would do well to better recognize this very common and accessible spiritual opportunity.

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BY September 11, 2010

Sometimes it takes the simple, kind words of a Somali woman to remind us of all to be treasured during these times.

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