Krista's Journal: Former Guests Provide New Meaning Online and On Air

March 5, 2009

As global economic crises began to unfold this past fall, my producers and I wanted to respond immediately, in our way. We began to conduct an online conversation parallel to but distinct from our culture's more sustained focus on economic analysis and scenarios. For in each of our lives, whoever we are, very personal scenarios are unfolding that confront us with core questions of what matters to us and what sustains us. We made a list of our guests across the years who we thought might speak to this in fresh and compelling ways. We called them up at home or at work and spoke with them by telephone. We asked each of them the same set of questions: Do you consider this economic moment to be a moral or spiritual crisis? What are you doing now that is different? What moral and spiritual resources, what virtues, are you drawing on? We didn't plan initially to turn these interviews into a radio broadcast. But we found them so helpful as we ourselves moved through the turmoil and anxiety of this moment in time — in our own company, in lives around us, in ourselves. And so we selected eight voices for this broadcast — each in their own way at once bracing and nourishing — from the broader palette on the Repossessing Virtue site. The "sound" of this program is different, and in format it is more an hour of reflection than a conversation. We offer it in the same spirit in which we offer all of our work — as a distinctive contribution, we hope, to large questions of common concern. We offer these voices of wisdom, more precisely, to supplement and temper the abundance of information, analysis, and simply demoralizing news all around us. We hope you might be able to use the thoughts of this program in your life and community.

Here's who you'll hear:

Rachel Naomi Remen» Rachel Naomi Remen, a physician whose own struggle with chronic illness has shaped her philosophy of healing, and who has written beloved books on medicine and life.
Prabhu Guptara» Prabhu Guptara, who is experiencing the economic downturn from one of the world's largest banks in Switzerland, and who fascinated our listeners with his global project called The Gods of Business.
Sharon Salzberg» Sharon Salzberg, a Buddhist teacher and author who is finding new resonance — and an antidote to Western culture's default modes of reaction — in Buddhist insights into suffering and change as elemental aspects of human reality.
Martin Marty» Martin Marty, a religious historian and a great scholar of equally great humanity, who considers the moral and spiritual aspects of economic crisis as a public theologian.
Esther Sternberg» Esther Sternberg, an immunologist who works at the intersection of physiological health and human emotion, and who approaches the economic present by way of her understanding of the human stress response.
Anchee Min» Anchee Min, a Chinese-American novelist whose perspective on economic threat — and American culture's complicity in and reactions to it — is galvanized by her personal history of living through the most brutal era of Chinese Communism.
Majora Carter» Majora Carter, who helped pioneer the notion of social justice environmentalism, and who draws her evolving sense of the moral aspects of economic crisis from what she learned as she grew to be a leader on ecological crisis.
Vigen Guroian» Vigen Guroian, an Armenian Orthodox theologian and avid gardener who reflects on the economy from the vantage point of the Christian season of Lent — and from his work as a college professor concerned about moral imagination in education, literature, politics, and everyday life.

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physician + author

Swiss banker

Buddhist teacher + author

religious historian

immunologist + stress researcher


social justice environmentalist

Vigen Guroian

Armenian Orthodox theologian + educator