Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong speaks about her progression from a disillusioned and damaged young nun into, in her words, a "freelance monotheist." She's a formidable thinker and scholar, but as a theologian she calls herself an amateur — noting that the Latin root of the word "amateur" means a love of one's subject. Seven years in a strict religious order nearly snuffed out her ability to think about faith at all. Here, we hear the story behind Armstrong's developing ideas about God.

Xavier Le Pichon, one of the world's leading geophysicists, helped create the field of plate tectonics. A devout Catholic and spiritual thinker, he raised his family in intentional communities centered around people with mental disabilities. He shares his rare perspective on the meaning of humanity — a perspective equally informed by his scientific and personal encounters with fragility as a fundament of vital, evolving systems. Le Pichon has come to think of caring attention to weakness as an essential quality that allowed humanity to evolve.

A "linguistic resurrection" you ask? Krista’s presentation at the United Nations was featured on TED.com! Krista's TEDTalk presents ways in which we can ground + humanize the word "compassion" by using language more fully and by looking to people who exemplify this aspiration. Watch and share what your ideas.

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As we send this program on the airwaves, Armstrong is preparing to unveil her "Charter for Compassion" to the world.

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Krista's conversation with Le Pichon draws connections to Karl Jaspers and Karen Armstrong.

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Preparing for this program was like putting lighting in a bottle. Armstrong travels the world, writes voluminously, and continually develops her ideas. Video of her TED Talk helped us mind the gap.

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