The late Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionaries. But when she looked back on her childhood near the end of her life, she realized her family’s Kikuyu culture had imparted her with an intuitive sense of environmental balance. Maathai was steadfast in her determination to fight for the twin issues of conservation and human rights — and planting trees was a symbol of defiance.
Radio & Podcasts
On Being with Krista Tippett
Our flagship show — conversations about the big questions of meaning, since 2003.
October 8, 2018
Living the Questions
Can conversation make any difference at a moment like this?
“Conversation is not just about words passing between mouths and ears. It’s about shared life. Listening is about bringing our lives into conversation.”
In the midst of public conversation around Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Krista reflects on what it really looks like to engage with one another across a moral issue with curiosity alongside our convictions.
Looking for some chill in your life? For the 20th anniversary of The Big Lebowski, Scott Oliver talks about how the movie helped him keep perspective in a time of chaos. In typical Dude fashion, he remembered “nothing is f***ed,” even if it felt that way.
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April 25, 2003
Peter Gomes, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Chris Hedges
Religion in a Time of War
More than any crisis in modern memory, the War on Terror—including the current U.S. military presence in Iraq—is being debated in religious, usually Christian, terms. We explore the nuances of that debate with a former war correspondent, a political theorist, and a renowned preacher. We ask how and whether Christian principles really make a difference at this moment in our national life—and if not, why not?
February 20, 2003
Mario Cuomo and Mark Souder
Faith and Politics in America
Even among deeply religious Americans, there’s no consensus on the proper role of religion in politics. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, D.C., recently invited two veteran politicians to address this issue: former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana. They were asked to speak about how they have reconciled personal religious conviction with serving a pluralistic American constituency.
September 5, 2002
Parker Palmer, Phyllis Tickle, Linda Loving, Ingrid Mattson, Barry Cytron, and Tom Faulkner
The Spiritual Fallout of 9/11
In this program, we delve into uncomfortable religious and moral questions that the September 2001 terrorist attacks raised—questions of meaning that Americans have only begun to ponder one year later. This hour also features the riveting first-person account of veteran public radio producer Marge Ostroushko, who captures elements of the religious life that grew up at and around Ground Zero and was largely hidden from news reporting. Her coverage, which you won’t hear anywhere else, includes the ash-swirled final service, and an interview with the priest who coordinated the 24-hour team of clergy who blessed every human remain found there since 9/11.
February 15, 2002
Robert Pollack, Rami Nashashibi, Lisa Lampman, et al.
The Problem of Evil
Many around the world labeled the events of September 11 as “evil.” President Bush in his recent State of the Union speech described “an axis of evil.” But what does the word mean? It is a subject of enduring theological debate, even of scientific argument. It drives to the heart of the question: What does it mean to be human?
November 9, 2001
Jean Bethke Elshtain, John Paul Lederach, and Michael Orange
Justice and a Just War
Just-war theory was set in motion in the 5th century as St. Augustine agonized over how to reconcile Christianity’s high ethical ideals with the devastating world realities which were bringing about the fall of Rome. For 1,600 years, theologians, ethicists, diplomats, and political leaders have drawn on this tradition, refined it, and employed its key questions: When is it permissible to wage war? And how might our ethical and religious foundations place limits on the ways we wage war?
In this program, we explore three varied perspectives on how such questions are alive and evolving today, and how they might inform our approach to the conflict in Afghanistan and the peace we would like to achieve beyond it.
September 22, 2001
Richard Mouw, Barry Cytron, Patricia Hampl, et al.
Where Was God?
Great religious minds reflect on tragedies surrounding September 11, 2001. As America moves beyond raw emotion and religious sentiment, this program explores theological and spiritual reflection for the long haul. A gathering of provocative reflections across a broad spectrum of faith, woven together with evocative sound and music.
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The Pause is our Saturday morning newsletter, a gathering of threads from the far-flung, ongoing conversation that is The On Being Project. Stay up to date with our latest podcasts, writings, live events, and more.
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