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 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.
“Trunk or treats” are happening in church parking lots across the country in an attempt to make #Halloween rituals safer and less scary. On upholding the macabre lineage of All Hallows’ Eve — and welcoming both the risks and rewards of neighborliness.
Can the occasional cathartic rant lead to healing? The virtue of letting our frustrations be heard — from Russian novels and the Book of Job to a Catholic women’s “pray and bitch” prayer group.
Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.
Rather than focusing on what’s beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what’s within.
In a turning cultural tide, non-religious Millennials and the Christian church find themselves at odds. But do they have to be?
American politics is caught between two competing ideologies: Nietzsche’s doctrine of strength and power over weakness, and the Judeo-Christian ethics of humility and compassion for the weak. A young theologian seeks to understand American civil religion.
There are gems at the heart of all our faith traditions. Omid Safi on the challenge ahead to polish away the impurities of hatred and greed that keep the light from shining.
A young man sets a resolution for himself, and for us: to engage deeply with those on the other side, not with the goal of being right, but to recognize the desire for good that we all share.
Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis.
On the heels of Earth Day, a dialogue on the necessity of both contemplation and action, detachment and radical engagement in our relationship with the environment.
Beyonce and Chance the Rapper embody the deep, enduring presence of black faith in the world, both in its powerful solemnity and in its joyful boisterousness.
What might we make space for if we gave up our indignation, even if just for a moment? A historical and philosophical inquiry into the roots of this social moment.
Paul Elie navigates the winding path of Advent, and finds quiet ways to start anew in the meeting of ritual and the rhythms of everyday life.
The twilight season of Advent reveals a quiet source of hope — in the rhythms of the earth and the instinctual embrace of darkness by our animal bodies.
From the inspiration and discipline we learn from sport to opening up to the experience of strangers, a digest of interesting writings on the ways we evolve together: physically, spiritually, and creatively.
The strength of spirituality lies in the just action it inspires. Omid Safi points to faith as inextricable from the work of bringing about a community of equity and love.
Athleticism can pay off with glory and spectacle, but it’s also a daily ritual, a crucible for character. Theologian Don C. Richter explores the the spiritual underpinnings of the discipline of sport.
From Becoming Wise, New Monastic Shane Claiborne speaks of bridging the gap between the structures we are raised in and the human needs around us.
“I cannot even begin to push myself to the extent that God can help me to push myself.” Christy Marvin is the mother of three boys and a mountain runner. She’s won 6 different Alaska mountain races. For Christy, running is a spiritual practice.
The architecture around us inhabits the vernacular of our lives. Our executive editor with this week’s letter from Loring Park welcoming our new columnist Sarah Smarsh, who joins a collective contemplation of where and how we navigate our lives in faith, family, and citizenship.
A secular Jewish man takes umbrage when his close Christian friend says he believes he will go to hell. After he returns to his religious tradition, he says, he understands these inner and outer tensions as essential to faith — even if they disagree with his personal wishes.
Our paths intersect with countless others as we navigate our days, but how often do we live out the potential of these exchanges? Gleanings from the complementary persistence of Super Mario and Sisyphus, the enduring kinship of the Abrahamic family, and the unexpected inspiration to honor a late loved one from a song by Sting.
Unexpected relationships can lead to deep and lasting learning and growth.
Christians and Muslims are celebrating the births of Muhammad and Jesus on back-to-back days. Omid Safi reflects on these beautiful adjacencies and what the unity of these two traditions can teach us about opening our hearts, minds, and homes to those seeking physical or spiritual refuge.
American democracy is illumined by multiple voices calling us to pursue questions of personal, communal, and political meaning. A Quaker reminds us to vigorously question those who say the U.S. is a Christian nation.
Krista Tippett pays homage to Patrick Henry, a mentor who speaks to her enduring intuition that, in losing rote affiliation, religiosity and Christianity may have a chance to recover their deepest, wildest heart for the sake of the world.
A daughter shares this meditation on the grief and the loss that comes slowly from losing her mother to Alzheimer’s disease. Through the story of Gethsemane, she finds an uncomfortable solace and a quiet rebuke for falling asleep while waiting.
A new survey shows that Christians who take phone polls exaggerate their attendance more than those who take online polls. But, Martin Marty says, it’s showing what we all have known for centuries.
Listen to this beautiful recitation of the Maasai creed from the late great scholar Jaroslav Pelikan. It’s a treasure.
Join us at 1:00PM (CT) today for a live video stream of our inaugural live event at On Being Studios. It’s sure to be a rich discussion about science and religion between two great thinkers.
How do we fulfill the dream that was bequeathed to us? By practicing the joyful art of doing life together across racial categories without fear.
The daughter of an evangelical pastor finds comfort in the questions of an Orthodox rabbi — and his ability to change his mind on women’s issues because of his relationship with his daughter.
The season of Advent is not only a time of preparation, but one of sorrow and mourning. It’s a time for reflection + remembrance of those loved ones we lost. Jay Blossom reflects on letting go of his father — and the necessity of finding the time to lament and hope for a better world ahead.
Every so often, Krista’s interviews should be seen as much as heard. Her conversation with Nadia Bolz-Weber is one of these essential moments.
Much has happened in so-called Muslim-Western relations in the last decade, not the least of which is the Arab Spring. Has the paradigm changed or does it remain same? A look to the ever-changing nature of culture.
If we were to pick a line from the New Testament upon which to build a religion, surely this is it: “Friend, wherefore art thou come?”
Election Day Communion, a noble effort aimed at our healing our fractured civic spaces by bringing together congregations on the day of the vote.
Years after the discovery of a papyrus fragment from the fourth century CE believed to be The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, a Harvard professor is claiming it’s authentic. Even so, do modern sensibilities understand the Gnostic definition of marriage?
A doctrinal framework that’s fallen out of favor may be the best hope in giving Christian’s faith a structure and a language they can articulate.
A little-known fact: the Olympic Creed was inspired by a bishop’s sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral during the 1908 Games in London. We paired this with a photo that captures the spirit of this creed.
“You want people to recognize that they’re the truth of who they are — that they’re exactly what God had in mind when God made them.” ~Fr. Greg Boyle
Krista Tippett speaks with the Jesuit priest whose prison ministry has worked with some of the most violent, gang-ridden members in Los Angeles. A riveting hour and the second in our series of conversations from Chautauqua.
How do we respect the depth of a Christian snake handler’s faith — and talk about it without caricaturing or lauding his life?
You might want to read Richard Florida’s piece on The Atlantic Cities first and then follow it up with Noah’s reaction. Both are well worth reading and may lead you down all types of paths depending on your experiences and where you live, or have lived.
Our sermon this Sunday was on the true meaning of worship. Our worship is small when we reduce it to…
This video of the popular syndicated columnist Dan Savage speaking at a high school journalism conference in Seattle is generating some impassioned (to put it mildly) comments on YouTube.
A saucy explainer to dispel some myths about the emerging movement.
A thoughtful guest essay on Easter not just being about Jesus’ resurrection but Mary Magdalene too. Take three minutes to listen and read.
The body of Pope Shenouda III, the spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, sits dressed in formal robes on…