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Musician Zola Jesus chose her stage name as an atheist teenager, but as her career has progressed, its religious connotations have shed light on the place that music commands in her life — as an exercise in meaning-making, an outlet for expressing and exploring the existential questions of life.
Krista Tippett looks back on her conversation with the renowned religious scholar Martin Marty, whose research focused on religious fundamentalism as a modern phenomenon. Though the conversation was over 10 years ago, many of Marty’s thoughts on religion and life — informed by his “glacial” sense of time — still resonate today.
From the dreary lyrics of “Eleanor Rigby” to Lennon’s infamous remarks on Christianity, The Beatles seemed to embody a godless skepticism about the world. But was their outlook really so bleak? Kenneth Womack on the deeper message at the heart of their music: a life-affirming, transcendent sense of communal good.
We never would have guessed it, but Omid is a total gearhead. What a jaunt in a convertible dream car taught him about seeking out the luminous moments in the mundane — that while we can’t all speed around in expensive convertibles, we can find the joy of driving the family car with all the windows rolled down.
We crave the closure of explanations and answers, but what if we were enlivened by the questions themselves? On the evolution of his own faith — from a hunger for certainty to awe at the ineffable.
A young, gay Mormon’s testimony sparked a rift in her community — but, Erika Munson wonders, must we give in to the instinct to take sides? On lingering in the complex questions with a spirit of compassion that has room for our differences.
Omid Safi on the experience of being institutionally invisible — and how our structures and spirits might change to acknowledge each other's entire being.
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