On Being

On Being

United States

On Being with Krista Tippett takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Updated every Thursday, a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.

Episodes

Marilyn Nelson — Communal Pondering in a Noisy World  

Marilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicated ancestry that can help us in what she calls “communal pondering.” To sit with Marilyn Nelson is to gain a newly spacious perspective on what that might mean — and on why, in this troubled moment, Americans young and old are turning to poetry with urgency.

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[Unedited] Marilyn Nelson with Krista Tippett  

Marilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicated ancestry that can help us in what she calls “communal pondering.” To sit with Marilyn Nelson is to gain a newly spacious perspective on what that might mean — and on why, in this troubled moment, Americans young and old are turning to poetry with urgency. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Marilyn Nelson — Communal Pondering in a Noisy World." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Margaret Wertheim — The Grandeur and Limits of Science  

A passionate translator of the beauty and relevance of scientific questions, Margaret Wertheim is also wise about the limits of science to tell the whole story of the human self. Her Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles reveals evocative, visceral connections between high mathematics, crochet and other folk arts, and our love for the planet.

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[Unedited] Margaret Wertheim with Krista Tippett  

A passionate translator of the beauty and relevance of scientific questions, Margaret Wertheim is also wise about the limits of science to tell the whole story of the human self across history and culture. Her Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles reveals evocative, visceral connections between high mathematics, crochet and other folk arts, and our love for the planet. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Margaret Wertheim — The Grandeur and Limits of Science" Find more at onbeing.org.

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Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships  

What if the first question we asked on a date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton's essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" was, amazingly, the most-read article in The New York Times in the news-drenched year of 2016. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. How might our relationships be different — and better — if we understood that the real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after?

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[Unedited] Alain de Botton with Krista Tippett  

How different would our relationships be if the question we asked on an early date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? A conversation with writer and philosopher Alain de Botton about the true hard work of love. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne  — How to Be a Christian Citizen: Three Evangelicals Debate  

White Evangelical Christians helped secure the election of President Trump. Many said that his views on abortion were decisive, overriding concerns they had on other matters. But to be Evangelical is not one thing, even on abortion. This conversation about Christianity and politics with three generations of Evangelical leaders — Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, and the late Chuck Colson — feels more relevant in the wake of the 2016 election than it did when we first recorded it. We offer this searching dialogue, which is alive anew, to a changed political landscape.

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[Unedited] Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne with Krista Tippett  

This conversation about Christianity and politics with three generations of evangelical leaders — Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, and the late Chuck Colson – feels more relevant in the wake of the 2016 election than it did when we first taped it. White Evangelical Christians helped secure the election of President Trump. Many said that his views on abortion were decisive, overriding concerns they had on other matters. But to be Evangelical is not one thing, even on abortion. We offer this searching dialogue, which is alive anew, to a changed political landscape. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne — How to Be a Christian Citizen: Three Evangelicals Debate." Find more at onbeing.org.

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John Lewis — Love in Action  

We take in the extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis on what happened in Selma on Bloody Sunday and beyond - and how it might inform common life today. A rare look inside the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation with themselves - and their intricate art of "love in action."

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[Unedited] John Lewis with Krista Tippett  

The extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis. A rare look inside the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation with themselves - and their intricate art of "love in action." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "John Lewis - Love In Action." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Eula Biss — Let's Talk About Whiteness  

Could we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens up words and ideas like “complacence,” “guilt,” and something related to privilege called “opportunity hoarding.” To be in this uncomfortable conversation is to realize how these words alone, taken seriously, can shake us up in necessary ways — but also how the limits of words make these conversations at once more messy and more urgent.

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[Unedited] Eula Biss with Krista Tippett  

Eula Biss is a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. Her writing includes "On Immunity: An Inoculation" and "Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays." This conversation was inspired by her New York Times article “White Debt.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Eula Biss — Let’s Talk About Whiteness." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Eula Biss — Let's Talk About Whiteness  

Could we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens up words and ideas like “complacence,” “guilt,” and something related to privilege called “opportunity hoarding.” To be in this uncomfortable conversation is to realize how these words alone, taken seriously, can shake us up in necessary ways — but also how the limits of words make these conversations at once more messy and more urgent.

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[Unedited] Eula Biss with Krista Tippett  

Eula Biss is a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. Her writing includes "On Immunity: An Inoculation" and "Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays." This conversation was inspired by her New York Times article “White Debt.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Eula Biss — Let’s Talk About Whiteness." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Anil Dash — Tech's Moral Reckoning  

A wildly popular blogger, tech entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley influencer, Anil Dash has been an early activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere — an aspiration which has now become an urgent task. We explore the unprecedented power, the learning curves ahead, and how we can all contribute to the humane potential of technology in this moment.

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[Unedited] Anil Dash with Krista Tippett  

Anil Dash is the CEO of Fog Creek Software. He also founded Makerbase, Activate, and the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which collaborated with the Obama White House and federal agencies. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Anil Dash — Tech’s Moral Reckoning." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Anil Dash — Tech’s Moral Reckoning  

A wildly popular blogger, tech entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley influencer, Anil Dash has been an early activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere — an aspiration which has now become an urgent task. We explore the unprecedented power, the learning curves ahead, and how we can all contribute to the humane potential of technology in this moment.

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[Unedited] Anil Dash with Krista Tippett  

Anil Dash is the CEO of Fog Creek Software. He also founded Makerbase, Activate, and the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which collaborated with the Obama White House and federal agencies. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Anil Dash — Tech’s Moral Reckoning." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age  

She has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each day, is wisdom of the old-fashioned sort, presented in new-fashioned digital ways. She cross-pollinates — between philosophy and design, physics and poetry, the intellectual and the experiential. We explore her gleanings on what it means to lead a good life — intellectually, creatively, and spiritually.

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[Unedited] Maria Popova with Krista Tippett  

Maria Popova is the creator and editor of brainpickings.org and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age." Find more at onbeing.org.

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