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As we began to spread the word to close friends about our name change from Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett to Krista Tippett on Being, we were invited to speak to an audience of colleagues here at American Public Media earlier this month. Our pal, Future Tense host John Moe, agreed to interview Krista and get at the basic questions: Why the change? Why Being? What does it all mean? In this video, our inimitable host takes on these questions with passion, intelligence, and grace.

We’ve heard from hundreds of you that the name change is a brilliant idea, a terrible idea, or something in between. Some who regret the change see the necessity for it. Some who love the old name acknowledge the new name is a better fit for the program content. Others says they need some time to think about it and adjust. For many, there is some sadness in losing the word “faith” in its robust and broadest meanings, and we acknowledge that loss. We’ve also heard you say you don’t quite get Krista’s name in front of Being. It’s there (especially during this transition) so you know that Krista Tippett remains central to this program and its vision. In general conversation on the radio and in other applications, the name of the program will most often be Being.

But we also want to reassure you that we are not losing faith in a programmatic sense. The name change is not a signal of a change in the editorial vision or content. As you will hear Krista relate in this video, the new name reflects an evolutionary change that has occurred over time. Being will remain the conversation about “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas” you have come to know.


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65 Comments

Hello Krista. First, thank you for what you do. Who you are. This time on planet earth certainly is about Being, rather than Doing. We as humans need to ask
How can I serve, what direction does my Spirit guide my body to serve? How will this change the course of this human existence. How will my actions, guided by Spirit, by my beingness, help this world move forward. For this, we don't need to speak of faith, but of wholeness, incorporating Spirit with Body.
I think you would love to speak with Fritz Smith MD, founder of Zero Balancing, a bodywork system that works with the relationship of energy and structure...spirit and body....
Again, my thanks..... Verilee

Part of my weekly routine is mucking the horse stalls in our barn early Sunday morning here in Maryland, while listening to Speaking of Faith. The earthly smells of straw, hay and manure combine with the lofty thoughts from Scientist and Mystics to create a very personal sacred space. Part of this experience is the familiar sound and personality of Krista. It is not an ego trip on her part to include her name in the title of the program. Sure someone else could host the program, but it is ridiculous to think that Krista is not an important part of the essence of the show. You do not need to defend it. Having her name a part of the new name was comforting to me.

MJcolumbus,
Thank you for that.
Kate Moos

I have no problem with rebranding your program. Your explanation that the program is the same but the name better reflects how the program has evolved makes sense. I suspect there are additional factors in this move and believe you should be honest about them. I suspect it has more to do with ego (Tippett's) and money (funders, market share, etc.) than content or ideas.

That said, I like the "On Being" part of the rebranding. I have serious problems with "Krista Tippett on Being." What makes this program great are its guests and CONVERSATIONS on faith, being and life. The literal meaning of the new name refers to the host's ideas / reflections / ruminations on Being. Even with the subtitle, the literal meaning of the first clause stands.

Minny Apples (something tells me that's a screen name),
Just to be clear: Krista's name has always been in the title, though of course you didn't hear it on air. It will be the same now: what you will hear in most cases is "Being." We wanted to make sure that our audiences knew Krista remained central as host and editorial thinker. Thanks for writing.

Kate Moos

"Why the change? Why Being? What does it all mean?"

What kind of being? Ousia? Heidegger? What?

"But we also want to reassure you that we are not losing faith in a programmatic sense. The name change is not a signal of a change in the editorial vision or content."

After reading these explanations, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Isn't this just spin indicating that in fact, it is exactly what you are doing? Isn't this indicating the ongoing shift from "Faith" traditions to considering all matter of post-modernist "beliefs"? Wouldn't the new format better be called "All things considered"?

the name Belief is both a good and expansive name, but lacks impact in the spoken/written word.
Such as, to say I heard on Belief the other day, blah blah, does not describe a program with a recognizable name. the word does not stand out on it's own
Cynthia Gage

I applaud the name change. The original name hinted slightly of a "Mere Christianity" theme. For me though the program is not that at all but an exploration of and reflection on what simply is.

Very persuasive, and a welcome insight into some of the thinking behind the name change.
Thanks.

Well presented argument. It makes sense and if it attracts more of the audience you are after then in the very competitive public radio market it's the right move. Keeping Krista's name in the title also has a persuasive argument attached to it. To me it would seem a little less prideful, however, if she had second billing.

I work in a large church (musician) so I've often invited our pastors and staff to check out programs on Speaking of Faith. I can tell they're thinking: "Speaking of Faith? Faith?! Why didn't I know about this program?!" So, because of that and because of how the show has expanded and affirmed my own faith, I didn't want the name to change. However, the name change has made me less apprehensive about sharing this program with my hair dresser who is from Afghanistan, my neighbors who are Buddhist (I'm guessing), and family members who have left the faith (as we understood it growing up together). I feel more free to share it outside my church group, I think, without the fear of being misunderstood or pushy. To me, the show will still be speaking of "faith" because that's the word with which I still need to connect . "Being" broadens it for me in a good way, though; and if it helps me share it more freely, that's a good thing. I do appreciate knowing how much thought went into the change, and I understand. I might have been curious and skeptical otherwise.

New name is perfecto. Hurry and do a show on living with illnesses that are more confining than death row.

As many in Krista's audience, 'Speaking of Faith' IS my church on Sunday mornings here in Chicago. I trust that the brilliant hostess and her staff will continue the remarkable programming that Krista's congregation has come to expect and rely on! Thanks for feeding our hearts, minds and souls.

Carole

The show could be "Krista Tippett on the Phone Book" and it'd still be great. For me, this is the most thoughtful, intelligent, creativity-inducing show I know of, no matter what you call it.

Your new name quite rightly reflects the fact that in recent years your show has, with increasing consistency, had virtually nothing to do with faith(!), at least not as one might historically define the term. Most shows are just doses of pacifism, scientism, race-relations, anti-capitalism, feminism, panentheism, with a dollop of New Age mumbo jumbo. I regret this because you "were" the only show to do in-depth discussion of doctrine, both within and across religions. A better title for the current show might be "Being Krista Tippett." Good luck. May the force be with you.

"being Krista Tippet"; that is funny.. wonder will Krista get the joke

This show gets me up early every Sunday morning. If you can't rise with the birdies, you can listen to the weekly podcast. Anyone interested in spiritual matters should listen to this wonderful program. You won't be disappointed.

I applaud your changing the name for it reflects the true nature of the show. I am one of the agnostics you identified who have been listening regularly and who love your guests and topics. Thank you.

Speaking of Spirituality would be a better title. Spirituality deals with our sense of identity and purpose, our connectedness to each other and to the natural world, and the search for meaning in our lives. Speaking of Being sounds like an ontology lecture.

"Speaking of Faith"-- speaking of faith in the broadest sense/s and interpretation/s of the word, especially in the context of Public Broadcasting and our larger society--is a courageous and challenging concept. I read the new name as a blurring, a dilution and a kind of retreat.

Krista et. al., I like the new name. It doesn't blur or dilute. It broadens and encompasses what you are doing and those with whom you are speaking.

"Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." Not sure why you need the name change, but I'll listen regardless.

I don't mind the name change but worry that the program is becoming more and more secular and more political. I liked the spiritual aspect of the program and dislike the political.

I join all those who regret the loss of the word Faith in the new title.
It was so great and refreshing to have an alternative way of living and understanding Faith. I fear this word is becoming more and more the property of fundamentalists and loosing some of the rich meanings Krista was referring to in the interview.
In any case, I will continue to listen to the great show.

I don't really care what you call it, as long as Krista Tippet is still the voice and the mind behind the product.
I love the inclusive nature of the programming and I feel very much at home here.

Thank you Krista. I have listened to the radio show for years. I must say that I was drawn to the show by it's initial title. Frankly, I may not have been attracted to it if it was first named "Being." Contemplating our "being" is intreging. It does cause one to ask the popular questions, why? and for what purpose? But I also see the focus on being as rather self-centered. When looking at the concept of "faith," I believe one is drawn away from self and one's thinking can expand beyond the human envelope. Bottom line: I'll miss "faith" in the title; but, Krista, I'll still listen. I just hope that you do not quit asking the global religions to explain themselves . . . I believe they hold so much in common that they must not be ignored . . . as they do attempt to explain our very being and beyond - questions humanity has asked from the beginning.

I have absolutely no idea why you are giving up such a wonderful program name, so open. Whenever I hear it, it feels unbiased, open to all views. It tells me something about the program. But if the program remains as engaging and exciting I do not mind if you need to change the name.Maybe it is necessary for you.

Why not Speaking of Faith on Being? The original name also drew me in but as others have stated, I will continue to listen as I continue to "be" and widen my understanding of others.

The title "Speaking of Faith" is a beautiful container for all forms of human belief, understanding and being in the world.

"Being" is a completely trite and meaningless term, with none of the colors and connotations of the original program name.

I can't help but imagine that this is more of a marketing move than an "evolution", and just like every retail shuffling of the shelves, does little but confuse and alienate long-time customers who have grown comfortable with what they knew and relied upon.

"New and improved" or "rebranded" commodities are almost never authentic improvements, but thinly-disguised attempts to entice new customers. Rebranding this marvelous show is yet another venal attempt at increasing market penetration. Shame on you, Krista.

Shame on you, Robert Riversong. Being human. Being in the moment. Being true. Being ....... goes on for ever. What a great title change.

A saying comes to mind - "Resiliance endures. Rigidity comes to an early end. The teeth are hard and fall out, the tongue is soft and remains." Rigid bones break, healthy bones are resilient and flexible. "Being" -- understood as a form of the verb, is dynamic and alive. It allows for free movement, like comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Most importantly, it pulls us down into the bedrock core roots of the issue of Religion and Faith. We often talk about "The Human Spirit." Well, that dynamic we call The Human Spirit manifests as the nature of "Being," and in manifesting anew moment to moment, it is at once both a verb and a metamorphosis of consciousness through which our ever-changing understanding of Faith and Religion evolve. Such resilience deepens and expands our understanding to this subject through our understanding of the meanings behind the title change.

Soul, essence, spirit, consciousness, all wonderful expressions of BEING.

A wonderful change - I hope for all listeners, a broader invitation to fully experience
the evolution of topics and approach, from Speaking of Faith to Krista Tippet on Being. Thank you!

I think the change is brilliant. I've enjoyed your show for years, but have never resonated with the title. Faith, although potentially broader, frequently implies deep committed belief. And such belief is highly problematic; both, for the individual's quest for truth and for communal relations.

I've pursued an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding of the timeless, frameless and selfless for over three decades without adhering to any beliefs. I live my life primarily in service to others, without "fear of God" for motivation.

Learning to "just be" enables one to feel the connection to all else, that the words of all spiritual teachings feebly attempt to convey.

Being - works just fine for me.

The program should really be called "Speaking of Philosophy" since "being" means anything, thus nothing. Unfortunately "philosophy" is considered a stuffy old subject by many people who don't know what it is about.

The last program about education was completely out of historical context since it did not cover the fact that America's greatest philosopher, John Dewey, dealt with questions such as "education and democracy" over a hundred years ago, with theories better than those being kicked around today.

I agree w letting go of "Faith" in the title. I often, when recommending your program to a friend, have had to add a disclaimer about not being thrown by the show's name. However, "Being", to me, sounds very static, non-moving, still. From Krista's discussion about the show and my own experience with it, I would say something like "Evolving Humanity" might step closer to the active, expanding dynamic related to the transformation of idividuals that we see in our daily lives and heralded in your weekly programming.

One word is not sufficient - What about - What Does It Mean To Be Human - Krista keeps refering to this in conversation.

Why not just stay here? After all, it's only the name that changed, not the content. Keep listening, give it a chance, and you may find the program still gives us the content we are were listening to and for in the first place.

What is the point of asking us our opinion when you'd obviously made up your mind even before you asked?

"Speaking of Faith" began at a time when it was difficult for people to speak about faith. The show modeled how discussions of faith could be nonjudgmental, explorative and inclusive experiences. I agree that the content of the program has evolved and expanded as listeners grew comfortable seeing more and more aspects of their lives in spiritual ways. However, I don't like the title "Krista Tippett on Being." I think a better title would be "On Being with Krista Tippett." As much as I appreciate Krista Tippett's incredible ability to describe multifaceted concepts as if they were jewels held up to a light, being turned this way and that, it is not all about her. The show works because of the GUESTS she has and the connections we are able to make with them because of the questions she asks them. The listeners have always been "with Krista Tippett" as she asks the guests the questions the listeners wanted to ask (or wished they had thought of to ask). She has been our guide, never our instructor, which is one of the reasons it felt comfortable for listeners to explore new ideas. The title "On Being with Krista Tippett" better describes 1) what the show has become programatically and 2) the host's special relationship with her listeners.

I find there are two of me -- the "innovator" who delights in something like a new name, and the "conservator" who romantically clings to the old name. Sigh. If I were to tweak the new name, I would tweak in a process direction, something like: "On Being and Becoming, with Krista Tippet."

My tweak aside (and who asked me anyway?), go for it. Be ready to change it again. Make it always a name that is not only descriptive but also leads people to say and ask, "Wow, that sounds interesting...what's that about?"

I think Krista is brilliant; she articulates the pursuit of meaning as well as anyone anywhere. "Being"does encompass a much broader space where so much in the way of belief can be embraced. Thanks for taking chances and exploring such interesting subjects. Have you ever had David Whyte, the poet, philosopher, and Zen Budhist on Speaking of Faith?

bad idea, so what if it includes many topics..keep the old name, the name being sucks, if your going to change it you could do better than being...too out there....

Just curious. Are you the author/speaker Don Miller? BTW: Blue Like Jazz is one of my favorite books!

Brilliant choice. In a way, evokes theologian Paul Tillich's "The Courage To Be" - the most powerful reading from my undergraduate days. "The anxiety of meaninglessness is anxiety about the loss of an ultimate concern, of a meaning which gives meaning to all meanings. This anxiety is aroused by the loss of a spiritual center, of an answer, however symbolic and indirect, to the question of the meaning of existence. . . ." Each week, Ms. Tippet draws out from her guests what it means to be. Broadening the horizon will enable her to reach even further. Thanks for having the courage to change!

Change most always intinially causes a bit of uncomfort. However, I will glad to start using this new title. The reason being that when I, with great enthusiasm, try to get others to listen to this show, and tell them the (old) name, I can see their expression change. Then I start to say, "Oh no ... it's about, etc."

I am a loyal fan. I have no words that will reflect how wonderful the show, the people who put it together and everything that goes into getting it on the air.

Thank you all so much for Being!!!!!

Adolphine Carole
New Mexico

I understand how religion is often a source of division in our society and the word "faith" can be off-putting.

It seems to me that combatting that sense was the whole point of the show. These are conversations that need to happen, and typically don't. If we cannot even "speak of faith" then the world is in worse shape than I had thought.

I keep hearing my more conservative religious friends talk about how the world is fundamentally opposed to faith. I hate it when it seems as if they're right.

This change may be necessary for ratings or whatnot, and all that is reality, but it makes me very sad.

Kristen...I think I agree with you. When I first heard about the name change at the end of last week's program, my initial response was negative, but I didn't know why. I thought it may be because sometimes changes just make me uncomfortable. But then I thought, no that's not really it. I listened to half of Tippet's interview and it did little to convince me of what was good about the name change. Then I read your comment, and I think you may have hit it on the head. I personally listened to "Speaking of Faith" DESPITE the name. I am one of those who believes religions do more to divide than unite us. But, I listened all the same. And I think, for me, the challenge was just that. I mostly enjoyed the content of the show and found it stimulating, and wow, I did so, even though it was "speaking of faith".

First they arrested all the people who center on meaning. I don't center on meaning, so I did not stand up. Then they arrested all the people who center on eithics. I don't center on eithics, so I did not stand up. Then they arrested all the people who center on faith..and there was nobody to stand up for me.

2010: Being...A conversation on meaining, faith and eithics.

2011: Being...A conversation on meaning, ethics and faith

2012 Being..A conversation on meaning, eithics, and whatever

When I first heard about the name change at the end of last week's program, my initial response was negative, but I didn't know why. I thought it may be because sometimes changes just make me uncomfortable. But then I thought, no that's not really it. I listened to half of Tippet's interview and it did little to convince me of what was good about the name change. Then I read Kristen's ( 09/12/2010 02:24 PM) comment, below, and I thought she may have hit it on the head. I personally listened to "Speaking of Faith" DESPITE the name. I am one of those who believes religions do more to divide than unite us. But, I listened all the same. And I think, for me, the challenge was just that. I mostly enjoyed the content of the show and found it stimulating, and wow, I did so, even though it was "speaking of faith".

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