In our time, some associate the word “religion” with rigid dogma and the excesses of institutions. The word “spirituality” on the other hand can seem to have little substance or form. The word “faith” can appear as a compromise of sorts, pointing to the content of religious tradition and spiritual experience. The truth is, all of these words are vague in the abstract. They gain meaning in the context of human experience.
In this show, we’ll explore the connotations of the word “faith” in four traditions and lives: Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We’ll speak with Sharon Salzberg, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Anne Lamott, and Omid Safi.
is a columnist for On Being. Her column appears every Monday.
She is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including Love Your Enemies, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, and Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace.
is the best-selling author of many books including Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith.
is a scholar-in-residence at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. His many books include God Was In This Place & I, i Did Not Know, Kabbalah: A Love Story, and I’m God, You’re Not.
is Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for On Being. He is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism and the author of Memories of Muhammad.