On Being Blog

Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 11:44

Monday, September 29, 2008 - 13:37

On Thursday night before the debate, I wrote something that meant a great deal to me. It was about a trip I made to Ole Miss in August and the incredible symbolism of that the debate on that campus, a cultural triumph it signified far larger than who won or lost.

The drama in financial markets nearly stopped the debate completely, and overshadowed a few hours of reflection we might have allowed ourselves on race. But Scott Simon did a lovely piece on Saturday morning, and Slate produced this: “Negro to Address Ole Miss Class” (The headline you won’t be reading about tonight’s presidential debate.) A white presidential candidate in civil debate against a black presidential candidate is a monumental, quiet victory of a milestone worth pondering, and celebrating, in a world in which bad news gets all the attention.


Friday, September 26, 2008 - 15:41

Our managing producer takes a sharp look at our journalistic profession's cultural appropriation of stereotypes in the political season.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 12:03

Krista reflects on a recent trip she took to Oxford, Mississippi — the setting for the first 2008 U.S. presidential debate.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 11:54

An excellent reflection on the playlist for "Days of Awe."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 16:04
Monday, September 22, 2008 - 10:57

This SOF video captures the international flavor of the Azusa Street Centennial in song by a couple from Zimbabwe.

Friday, September 19, 2008 - 14:49

View a couple of campaign commercials in which presidential candidates wear their religion on their sleeves.

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Friday, September 19, 2008 - 12:26

A collection of photos documenting the Islamic holy month.

Friday, September 19, 2008 - 09:03

I wanted to share a tremendously informative piece of writing that came into my inbox yesterday — an essay by Omer M. Mozaffar about the passing of Warith Deen (often referred to as W.Deen) Mohammed titled “American Islam Enters its Next Phase.” Mohammed was a gentle but towering figure in the history of Islam in the U.S., yet remains little known in the culture at large.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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"There's no question about the reality of evil, of injustice, of suffering, but at the center of this existence is a heart beating with love."

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